Get Ready for Symmetry Autumn of Code 2019

Symmetry Investments logoLast year, Symmetry Investments sponsored three programmers to work on projects in the D community. Two completed successfully. Francesco Gallà worked on adding support for HTTP/2 to vibe.d and got the grand prize of a bonus payment and a free trip to DConf 2019, where he gave a talk about the experience and his project. His compatriot, Franceso Mecca, worked on porting an old D1 forking GC to D2 for integration into DRuntime. He has a blog post drafted on that already that I will publish here as soon as he finishes the next round of work on the project and updates the draft with some new data.

Now, on behalf of the D Language Foundation and Symmetry Investments, I’m happy to announce that we are go for Symmetry Autumn of Code 2019! You’ll find the details on the SAoC page here at the blog.

This year it’s the same but different! It’s open once again to any programmer, with a preference for students. Participants will receive $1000 USD for each of three successful milestones for a total of $3000. One participant will be selected for a final $1000 payment and a free trip to DConf 2020.

Thanks to feedback from last year’s participants, we’ve made some adjustments this time around. The most visible is that we’re allowing more time to ramp up the projects. Officially, the project planning phase begins September 1, but realistically it begins a week earlier when the applicants are notified of their application status. The official launch of SAoC 2019 is on September 15, two weeks later than last year. We’ll also require participants to submit weekly status updates to the forums this year to encourage more interaction with the community.

Behind the scenes, we’ll be a little more hands on this year in the areas where it matters. The participants last year were happy that we weren’t looking over their shoulders, but there were areas where they would have found our intrusion be a boon. So this year, we’ll be taking a more active role in helping participants find mentors and ramp up their projects, and we’ll communicate more frequently with each student to determine any other specific support we can provide. We’ll stay out of their code and their workflow–that’s what mentors are for–but we’ll do what we can to help ensure a successful project for each participant.

We’re also doing something different for the mentors this year. The SAoC 2018 mentors received the gratitude of the participants and the organizers, and nothing else. Mentors in SAoC 2019 will get all that gratitude, but they’ll also each receive a one-time payment of $500 at the end of the event for a successful project. If, for whatever reason, a participant is unable to complete the event, the mentor may still be eligible for the payment, but it will have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Following in the tradition of the Google Summer of Code events we’ve participated in over the years, we used a Wiki page for SAoC 2018 project ideas. This year, we’re using the new dlang/projects repository. Anyone with an idea for a SAoC project is welcome to submit an issue there. We’ll tag suitable projects with a SAOC tag so that SAoC 2019 applicants can easily search for projects that interest them. Please read the SAoC page for some guidelines on the sort of information a good project idea should contain.

We’re looking forward to seeing the applications this year. We’d like to expand the number of participants from last year’s three, but that depends on how many applications we get.

If you are interested in participating, please start thinking about your project ideas! The more detailed your application, the better the odds of being selected. We’ll get the tags going on dlang/projects soon to help get the gears cranking.

For the rest of you, please submit project ideas or consider being a mentor. Potential mentors should either contact me directly or announce their interest in the forums. Applicants in search of a mentor can do the same. The details are on the SAoC 2019 page.

Good luck!

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