Note to coders

As the prestigious Kharagpur Winter of Code draws its curtains with today being the last day to pull a request, this almost ends the period of interaction between the project mentor and mentees. It was really a nice time with all my mentees who were burning the midnight oil to make sure B.E.N.J.I. does not fail and enhance its features. I faced very very minor issues with some of them which I would also bring to point later. The contributions were brilliant indeed and it might be dishonour not to mention them here:

  1. Abhimanyu Thakre- One of the most contributing guys out here. Many major features were made by him.

  2. Kaushal Bhogale- A little less PRs but all of them were gems. He built the Linux version and prettified the UI to a classic, geeky , Mission Impossible-themed one.

  3. Snehal Reddy- The late-comer in the party but also did great stuff. He used his art skills to devise a cool logo and then built the Mac version.

  4. Yatish- Made nice changes and participated a lot in discussion; maybe due to some issues, he disappeared in the final phase of KWoC.

  5. Rishabh- For someone who was learning from scratch, he helped to solve many issues and though he made mistakes, he corrected them within no time.

  6. Rohan Kothapalli- The guy who spent the major half researching his issues, he shifted the GUI to Tkinter from wx. An achievement indeed! Not to forget he also was the group’s bug hunter!

  7. Arib Alam- This guy who was the second bug hunter of the group. Interestingly. he spotted the bugs and then fixed them himself! He surely was excited to code!

  8. Prasenjit Shaw- For the guy who came in the party a little late, he made some appreciable changes to the project. Though it seems he needs a little more learning, but I am quite sure he will do it.

  9. Ashish Jha- Started pretty good but disappeared in later events. He had no submissions after the mid-term evaluation. That’s um, a little embarrassing!

There were some others who peaked early and then withered, I decided not to mention them here. :sweat_smile: Which brings to the latter essential part of this post- An advice from a mentor to the mentees.

I enjoyed working with all of you. There’s no denial to that. But there are some issues, I wanted to raise too so that you may not repeat them in your next project:

  • Never ever review a PR without consulting the owner - This stuff came a little too much from some mentees. Until told to do so by the owner itself, never do it. This might result in the owner having a really bad impression about you, showing the world how you are trying to take over his project in an evil sense and might even result in you being banned! So don’t repeat this mistakes.

  • Always update your forks - When you tell the owner you are good with git, it means you can do git pull and update your fork as soon as you start a new day on GitHub. Update those projects regularly where you work currently.

  • Do not ping your owner - When you send a PR, it is a general policy not to ping your fork’s original owner for 15 days if he has not reviewed yet. He might be busy or out of town and it is considered to be very rude doing this. You are free to ping him in periods of 15 days or so.

  • Do not get PRs for typos - Unless instructed, don’t pull requests for minor changes or typos. There is a certain thingy that you might be ridiculed for it.

  • Commit yourself if interested - If you are interested in the project, commit yourself. 2-3 PRs a week is no problem at all. A PR a week seems okay too. But, don’t suddenly show up to work during the final phases. You might be ignored.

  • Don’t get afraid - If you have a doubt, ask it. Don’t fear. Try searching it first through Google or StackOverflow ,though. I have no problem to help you with a doubt like “Is it okay to alter the setup.py file?” or report a bug (Although, it might be helpful to talk about the bug to the owner before making an issue). But questions like “What is git merge?” are frowned upon. I am proud to say none of my mentees asked me any such questions.

  • PR submission - When submitting a PR, include a comment describing what you did to make a PR. Though, you might have talked about it in Slack channels, it is required for official documentation.

  • Further interest - If you want to work on the project even after the program has ended, you can talk to the owner about this and explain him that the skills you possess might help to improve the project. The selection, though depends on him/her.

To put in a nutshell, my mentees worked very hard and very effectively to get themselves recognized. What did they do? That’s for the next post!

Written on December 31, 2017