Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lessons Learned from GSoC 2008

This summer I have participated the Google Summer of Code 2008(GSoC) program under the Project Hackystat. The project I do is to develop Telemetry and Project Portfolio Management pages for Hackystat Project Browser, the overall viewer for Hackystat, which uses Wicket web app framework.
It is now end and I can summarize it a little bit.

* Technical skills acquired

I have been doing Wicket development for Hackystat Project Browser before GSoC. After this summer with Wicket, I get more familiar with Wicket and love it more.
I learn lots of new things in Wicket during GSoC, while the most important one I think is unit testing on Wicket. Unit test on Wicket is said to be facilitating but I have not dig into it for quite a long time because I can't find a way to manipulate forms or assert values in table that base on ListView. During the summer, I dig into this field again and finally found the way to access component in ListView, using the path like "projectTable:1:projectStream:0:streamCheckBox". Therefore, I can now fully control the page with wicket tester and test most parts of the page. And test coverage has increased greatly since then.

* Lessons on software development

This is the first time I work in distance with my mentor. I gained lots of helpful experience during it.

The most important thing during this is keep good communication with my mentor. We have choose the weekly skype phone call but it never works because the time zone issue keep make us miss the right time of the meeting. That delay the communication and delay the progress as well. Finally, we settle down to email approach. Asynchronising way seems much easier when communicate cross time zones.

* Other

As it is a program during the summer vacation, I initially did it as I am really in vacation: lazy for work. I did not accomplish much until I realize that progress is behind schedule quite a bit. If I have an advise for future GSoC students, it will be don't consider you are really in vacation that summer, take the program as a full time one. Another advise will be to start familiar as soon as possible, even before GSoC started.

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