Not only was I lucky enough to mentor a great student for this year’s
Google Summer of Code, but Mozilla asked me to represent them at the
Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit! This was located at Google’s
offices in Mountain View, California this past weekend (Friday, Oct.
18th - Sunday, Oct. 20th, 2013).
Before actually heading over to the Summit, Myk Melez and Nick
Desaulniers were kind enough to show me around the Mozilla Mountain
View office! (Thanks to Daniel Holbert for setting that up!)
The GSoC Mentor Summit is run as an “unconference”, the open sessions
were chosen by conference attendees and run as discussions with no
keynote speakers. This was an interesting experience and how good each
session was varied quite a bit by who was taking part in the discussion,
but overall it was great to hear the experiences of other projects with
their GSoC students, as well as to hear about lots of projects I had
never heard of before! In general the session I attended were about
community building and managing GSoC students, I took lots of notes and
will digest all of this in further detail at some point.
I was able to meet lots of great people from different projects, just
a few of which were: Pidgin, Debian, Buildbot, the Open
Lighting Project, the Tor Project, phpBB, etc. Unfortunately
being from Mozilla, most people already know what you do…or they think
you do at least! Many people were surprised when I said I work on
Thunderbird and Instantbird. I heard “Thunderbird is dead” at least
twenty times, which was quite disappointing that those in the open
source community don’t even understand the current status of
Thunderbird. Many were happy to hear that it is still being maintained
and developed by the community, however. I even had some people thank
me (which I don’t really deserve) for helping to continue maintain
Thunderbird! It was great to hear things like this at the Mozilla
Summit, but it was really invigorating to hear people outside of the
Mozilla community excited that their favorite email client was still
People were further surprised to hear that Thunderbird now includes
instant messaging / chat (since Thunderbird 15 or 17) and that there is
a Gecko based instant messaging client: Instantbird. It seemed like
some people were excited by this and hopefully they’ll try it out!
Anyway, I’ve gone a little off-topic, but overall the Mentor Summit
was great and I’d like to thank both Mozilla and Google for giving me
this opportunity. If I find any really great gems in my notes I’ll
write further blog posts about them.