This year I attended my first in-person GNOME conference (the GUADEC) in Rīga, Latvia. It was great to meet all the other GNOME folks, and there were loads of interesting talks, so if you haven’t had the chance to attend the GUADEC yet, I’d strongly encourage you to do so next year. The GUADEC 2024 will take place in Denver, Colorado, but there will also be a Mini-GUADEC in Berlin again.
I attended the GUADEC with my GSoC student, Tim. We’re working on FlatSync, a small daemon to synchronise the installed Flatpak packages on one’s system to another system. It’s a pretty fun project, but since this is the third time I’ve been mentoring in GSoC, I’ve been wondering how we, as GNOME, can do better at retaining GSoC students in GNOME after the GSoC period ends. In my experience, the main reasons why GSoC students become MIA after GSoC are:
- They finish their students after GSoC and don’t have time for GNOME next to work
- They didn’t find GSoC fun enough to say (possibly because GSoC has harder deadlines than OSS usually has)
- They end up in other OSS projects and prefer those to GNOME
However, these are just my assumptions. As such, I wanted to work on a more objective view of this problem and have created surveys for GSoC students, mentors, and alumni. If you happen to belong to one of those groups, feel free to message me on Matrix (@cogitri:gnome.org) and I’ll send you a link. I’ll keep you all posted on the results of the survey. :)