Sahana High School

For the second year, the Sahana Software Foundation has participated in the Google Code-In (GCI) Program which gives pre-university students the chance to get involved in open source projects. I was Sahana’s Administrator for this program and am incredibly happy with how well the program went for us. Out of the 208 tasks that we posted for students, 193 were completed – which is an amazing effort!

After last year, we knew that Google Code-In wasn’t for the faint of heart as it would require responding to students, answering their questions and reviewing work around the clock, so we appealed to our volunteer community and got a team of 11 mentors together. We put together a roster with 3-4 mentors on a week to ensure that there was always someone on duty, while ensuring that mentors would also be able to have some time off. A big thank you goes out to all our mentors: Dominc König, Fran Boon, Graeme Foster, Nuwan Waidyanatha, Pat Tressel, Praneeth Bodduluri (GSoC ‘09), Pratyush Nigam (GSoC ‘11), Robert O’Connor (GSoC ‘10), Shikhar Kohli (GSoC ‘10) and Tony Young (A GCI Student last year!). Sahana’s participation in GCI couldn’t have happened without all of you!

But the biggest thank you goes out to all the students who have contributed tasks – unfortunately there are too many of you to name! We had a lot of students review chapters in the Sahana Eden Essential Guide to make sure that the instructions we clear enough for them to follow. I was really pleased to see that the book was easy enough for students to use and we also got some great feedback on how to improve it. Once again the translation tasks were very popular and we have complete translations of Sahana Eden in Romanian, Bulgarian and Hindi. Abhishek Arora and Leizel Puzon completed one of the more interesting tasks to take minutes during our community calls – which gave them insight into how our community works. For me the highlight was the task completed by Daniel Klischies (Nostraa) to design a theme for the Sahana Eden wiki to align with the Sahana Software Foundation’s branding. Daniel’s work transformed our wiki into a really professional looking site which I get a great pleasure using and sharing with others. I’m also glad to see that for some students, their involvement with Sahana doesn’t end with GCI, such as Sriram Raghu who is giving an outreach program on Sahana Eden to other students at his school.

I would like to pass on a big thanks to everyone behind the scenes who made this happen: Sverre Rabbelier, Daniel Hans, Madhusudan.C.S and the rest of the Melange team who were under extreme pressure from students and mentors alike to ensure that Melange was running smoothly throughout Google Code-In. And of course the Stephanie Taylor, Carol Smith, Cat Allman and Chris DiBona from Google Open Source Programs – whose continued support of open source projects is what makes great events like this possible!

We’ve been talking about how to capture the sprint of these types of programs to engage new volunteers and focus the community and have started planning a Virtual Sahanathon Weekend. It’s still in the planning stages, but if you’re interested in being a part of it, please sign up on the Sahanathon Wiki Page!

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