Giriraj: Hi I am Giriraj Sharma, currently pursuing B-tech final year in Computer Science & Engineering at NIT Hamirpur, HP. My interests primarily lies in competitive programming and contributing to open source and anything else which I feel passionate about. During vacations, I may be seen trekking and hiking at mighty Himalayan treks or on expeditions to abandoned places in the asylum of Himalayan ranges. If there is anything which makes me different from others, it must be my determination to put in sheer hard and strong efforts in order to achieve desired goals.
IF: Which internship you got the chance to take? What is it all about? Stipend, duration, place?
Giriraj: I was selected for Google Summer of Code 2014 for Redhat Jboss Middleware Organisation. I was one of the 8 students selected for Jboss Organisation from all over the world.
GSoC inspires young developers to begin participating in open source development and gives them a sound exposure to real-world software development (for example, distributed development and version control, software licensing issues, and mailing list etiquette).
Stipend is really huge (around 5500 USD + T-Shirt and Certificate + additional subscriptions and memberships). Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all. The fact that you get to write code that people from all over the world can use – how cool is that! This a global program which runs completely online. So, no expense on accommodation or travel.
[su_box title=”Details”]For more details on this internship and to apply, visit GSoC internship page on EduInfo click here [/su_box]
IF: How you came to know about the internship? To what all sources you kept yourself connected?
Giriraj: I came to know about GSoC from my seniors as well as social media. I kept myself in active connection with the community and its members by having prior discussions on IRC channels with the respective mentors, subscribing to project (developer, issue and user) mailing lists and by having hangout sessions. I also started reading the code base and documentation of the project of my interest.
IF: Tell us on the procedure to apply for the internship. Who all are eligible to apply for this internship?
Giriraj: In order to participate in GSoC, you must be a student. Google defines a student as an individual enrolled in or accepted into an accredited institution including (but not necessarily limited to) colleges, universities, masters programs, PhD programs and undergraduate programs. You should be prepared, upon registration, to provide Google with transcripts or other documentation from your accredited institution as proof of enrolment or admission status.
For detailed information, check out GSOC – FAQ http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2015/help_page
IF: Let’s talk about how competitive is the selection process. What qualities of yours, you believe helped you in having an edge over the selection process? What key things you feel were looked for by the selectors?
Giriraj: Well, one doesn’t need to be a nerd with glasses and kickass coding skills spending 18 hours daily on his or her GHz machine to do GSoC. Only spirit to contribute, strong will, determination and interest in coding is required.
- The selection process is really very competitive. Your previous contribution to the respective source code base, bug fixes and enhancement features matters a lot and gives you an edge over your competitors.
- Each organization expects from a student a pro-active communication with the community on IRC channels or by using status updates on the developer forum, blogs and screencasts. Students may also try to fix some bugs or contribute code by issuing pull requests to respective GIT repository. To help ensure a successful student application and project, you should approach the mentors early in the application process to help make sure they you are on the right path to acquire any required knowledge pre-requisites.
- Implementation of your proposal must be feasible and must have a long term impact on the source base.
- By getting involved with the project communities you can give feedback, improve the docs, review code and submit patches/new features whenever they are needed. Answering user questions or taking part in development discussions is also a great way to build a reputation for collaboration and expertise in your field and strengthen your chances of selection.
IF: About when you got the news for the selection? How was the celebration?
Giriraj: Results were announced on April 21, 00:30 IST (19:00 UTC). I was happy that I cracked GSoC in the very first attempt and felt even happier when I scrolled down the results and realized that all my close friends were too selected for GSoC. A large number of selections from India had already smoked every other country in contention.
IF: What all preparations you did (academic/otherwise) after the results in view of the internship?
Giriraj: As each organization expects from a student a pro-active communication with the community on IRC channels or google-groups, most of the preparations are to be done prior to application period. I had already introduced myself and formed an acquaintance with the organization members quite before actual application period. I forked the source code base of my interest and started by making small changes and pushing them on to upstream .I continued with some minor bug fixes and later pushed some enhancements. In the course of time, my mentors were already considering me a potential recruit for the summer.
Once my selection was confirmed, I gave a thorough reading of the documentation and discussed the project schedule, workflow and implementation details with my mentors.
IF: So Giriraj, could you please highlight us with what work/ project you carried out during the internship period? It’s application in near future and your work in it?
Giriraj: I got selected for Jboss organisation for implementing Public Key Infrastructure API on top of Picketlink Identity Management API. PicketLink [link: http://picketlink.org/] is an umbrella project for security and identity management for Java Applications which offers enterprise application security, identity management, federation, secured social login etc. It is licensed under a friendly Apache v2 license. I also designed and implemented IETF draft specifications for JSON Object Signing and Encryption (JOSE) such as JSON Web Algorithms (JWA), JSON Web Key (JWK), JSON Web Token (JWT), JSON Web Signature (JWS) and JSON Web Encryption (JWE) as a part of Picketlink JSON module.
IF: What was the best thing you liked while working on this?
Giriraj: There’s something really satisfying and fulfilling about getting your code accepted and seeing it used by many others. Getting your code submitted is your first step towards achieving that accomplishment! More importantly, it helps you in honing your skills as a great developer and contributor. Your contribution will be forever archived on the internet, and will benefit many others. They will tackle a hard problem using your work, they will learn by reading your work, and they will likely return the favour.
IF: What problems you faced, while carrying out the internship?
Giriraj: There weren’t any problems faced except that in order to keep a pace in discussions with the organization members on IRC channels and groups, I switched my working hours from daytime to night hours but within a few days, the calm and serene night hours appeared more lucrative to me.
Giriraj: I can’t think of any cons regarding GSoC but the pros are limitless. Working on server runtimes and development frameworks is no slice of pie. But what fun is the easy level? While it can be challenging, solving tricky problems leaves you feeling a real sense of accomplishment. Experience contributing to open source looks fantastic on a resume, and on a contracting reference list. It demonstrates talent and personal commitment beyond a normal job.
IF: What was the guidance provided by your guide/mentor? What all support you received their side?
Giriraj: My acting mentor “Pedro Igor Craveiro e Silva” was an amazing personality with almost 15 years’ experience in enterprise middleware industry and was more a friend to me then a mentor. He could resolve my issues within a very few minutes and always helped me whenever I was stuck with build or deployment despite of his extremely busy schedule and strict deadlines to be met. He encouraged me and built in me a confidence to build a really beautiful API and its implementation and used to effectively refactor my code and suggest required changes before merging it on to upstream.
IF: Any special experience which you had during this period, which you would like to share with us.
Giriraj: Yeah I want to say few things to students who are interested GSoC .
- If you enjoy coding and feel passionate about writing good quality code and building great software, GSoC is the place for your passion to make its way into.
- There is something very fulfilling about getting your first patch committed upstream in some application that will be used by thousands of other folks all across the globe.
- Always read the manual and FAQ first! One of the best ways to destroy your reputation early is to repeatedly ask questions on IRC or the mailing list that are covered in a FAQ or other types of documentation and don’t expect instant answers..
- Don’t cross-post to multiple lists. Communicating well on mailing lists means knowing where and when to post items, if you have any doubts regarding what is appropriate, ask the moderator.
- Blog about it, speak about it. Make it a point to get at least 10 more developers take up open source contribution. And most importantly, continue to work on the projects that you take up.
IF: To which all people you would, like to thank in context of this internship?
Giriraj: In context to this internship, first of all I would like to thank my mentors and awesome developers:
(Chief Mentor, Lead Jboss Security Architect, Chicago) currently serving as Director, Product Engineering, Trustwave, Chicago; Pedro Igor Craveiro e Silva (Co-Lead, Picketlink, Brasilia, Brazil), And Shane Bryzak (Brisbane, Australia). Apart from these I would like to thank some People from Jboss Community who introduced me to this great organisation and always supported me in need: Sande Gilda (Technical Writer), Brett Meyer (Hibernate Lead), Vineet Reynolds, Aslak Knutsen (Arquillian Lead).
IF: How much difference this period of 2 months made in your intellectual capabilities and mind-set. In broad terms what are your gains from this?
Giriraj: GSoC entire coding period was an extremely elegant and eternal experience for a newbie like me. I learnt about some of the best practices followed while working and collaborating on a very large code base. Building a beautiful API design, writing high quality code, synchronizing code with a version control system, raising issues on JIRA were some of the skills honed during GSoC in addition to establishing connections with some of the most awesome developers across the globe.
IF: What are your future plans after this internship and how much impact this internship will have on it?
Giriraj: My future plan is to continue with competitive programming and my open source contributions as a passionate contributor. I am currently working upon refactoring Picketlink SCIM (System for Cross-Domain Identity Management) as per the latest IETF draft release and implementing CORS and CSRF filters for Picketlink HTTP Security API. I will be attempting to present one of the most defending proposals for the JBoss organization as a part of GSoC 2015.
IF: Any views about this initiative of InternFeel, and how beneficial it would be?
Giriraj: InternFeel is on its way to become a leading online resource for other students to find prestigious national and international internships, helping them greatly to embark on their technical careers and subsequently become potential recruits for quality employers.
IF: So Giriraj, we are at the end of the interview. From the entire team of InternFeel, we thank you for sharing your experiences with us, for everyone and we wish you best of luck for all your future endeavors.
Giriraj: Thanks InternFeel and wishing you loads of success in your initiative towards helping other students in their search for internships and associated information.