Tag Archives: GSoC

Women in Open Source, or Shortage Thereof

Google Summer of Code has released stats on women participation in this year’s GSoC. Only four percent of students in the program are women. Apparently, that’s twice the percentage of female representation in the open source world.

I guess it’s not surprising. In 2004, I was the first woman to be on the dev team for Coppermine Photo Gallery. I’ve been the only woman since then, except when we had another woman join for a few months but we haven’t heard from her after that.

The questions are why are there not more women participating, and how can we get more women to participate?

In one of the comments in the blog post, someone left a link to an article called Open Source, Cold Shoulder. There was one passage that I found interesting from my own experience:

There are two possible explanations for this: Either women are concealing their gender online, or the forces that discourage women from entering computing in general are operating far more powerfully in FLOSS. There’s much anecdotal evidence for the former. For example, after a post about gender issues in his weblog, columnist Jon Udell received mail from several women saying that they used gender-neutral pseudonyms online to avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention.

I don’t try to conceal my gender online, actually. I am very proud to represent women, and showing that men aren’t the only ones who can provide technical and coding help.

However, it just so happened that my real and nick names are gender neutral. Even in second grade, I got a letter from National Geographic addressed to Mr. Thu Tu (note how traumatizing it must have been for me to remember all those details). :P I chose my username because I thought it was cool, not because I was trying to hide anything. I got annoyed with people assuming that I was a male in the forums so I use a female avatar. I guess it doesn’t always work since some guys actually use women in their avatars.

Thu Tu / tranzndance avatar

I don’t know what could be done without knowing the true cause of the gender gap. All I can do is, as a woman, encourage other women to participate. I’d love to hear what else I can do to help. I’m on the lookout for mentorship opportunities, and tried to sign up for one a few weeks ago but got turned down because I didn’t have experience with breadboards.

Hopefully next year we can have more female representation in Coppermine and GSoC in general. :)

Tips for Google Summer of Code Student Applicants

Unfortunately, this list of suggestions comes too late for student applicants for GSoC 2007. Hopefully, Google will continue to have this annually and future students can gain some benefits from this.

As mentor and administrator for Coppermine Photo Gallery’s participation in GSoC 2007, I’ve noticed some things that students can do to improve their chances of getting accepted by an organization. This might not be universal for all orgs, but it should be helpful beyond Coppermine.


  • reply to mentor comments in a timely fashion. If you’re not reachable during the application process, it does not bode well for when we are in the project and need to communicate with you.
  • customize the application for the organization. Depending on the number of applicants the organization receives, you want to make your application stand out. A generic boilerplate “I like to code” application is less appealing than an application where the student shows thought and passion for the project and organization.
  • submit your application as early as you can. If you are among the first applicants, it makes it easier to stand out in the crowd. It’s better to have a high quality application later than a poor one earlier, but a great application submitted early simply stands out like a shining star. However, this isn’t applicable to all orgs since some might not review all applications until later on.
  • ask questions if you’re unsure about things.

I think I have some more but forgot. If I remember, I’ll post them.

Do NOT Procrastinate with Google Summer of Code Application

This is the night before the deadline for student applications. Remember: the extended deadline is March 26 at 5pm PDT.

I’m going through the applications submitted to Coppermine for Google Summer of Code and have encountered a few server errors. I’ve made comments and evaluations where they didn’t go through. I had to confirm whether the information got posted. Basically, there are a lot of issues that can crop up and the application might not get submitted if you wait until the last minute or even hour. If the system is this busy one day before, it’s unlikely to be any better in the hours before the deadline.

Please submit your application with enough time to deal with the heavy traffic and resulting server errors. This applies to applicants to any project, not just Coppermine. :)

Good luck!

hmmm… I guess we mentors and admins could help by not working on the applications at this time. :)

Students: Summer of Code Applications now being accepted

It’s official! Google has published the list of participating mentor organizations for Google Summer of Code 2007: Coppermine’s profile page

Student Application

Here’s information for students on how to apply.


Coppermine Developers who have volunteered to be mentors:
Thu Tu
Abbas Ali
Aditya Mooley
Dr. Tarique Sani

Contact Information

I’m the administrator representing Coppermine. If you have questions that others may benefit from knowing, please ask them in this thread over at the Coppermine forums. Otherwise, you can email me: gsoc2007@coppermine-gallery.net. The email address is specifically for Google Summer of Code communications. For anything else, please use the other means of communication.

Due Date

The last day to submit the student application is March 24. I forgot where I found the due time for the organization application so I can’t confirm it for the student application, but the application should be submitted by 5 PM PDT.

Update: The deadline has been extended to March 26 and the due time is 5 PM PDT, or 12:00 AM UTC March 27, 2007

Coppermine participating in Google Summer of Code

This year, Coppermine Photo Gallery is going to participate in Google’s Summer of Code as a mentor organization. Students can submit their applications via the GSoC web app between March 14-24, 2007. Students will get $4500 at the end of the summer.

I will be the organization administrator on behalf of Coppermine. I’m really looking forward to this. We have a number of things we would like to add to Coppermine but don’t have the bandwidth. This gives us a great opportunity to get help in order to provide a better product to our users.