Yesterday, Monday 21st November, saw the official start at 08:00 UTC of the Google Code-in Student participation. What this meant was that students could sign up to the program and start taking tasks from that point. I thought I would take this opportunity to bring you all up to date on how the efforts are going and to supply you with further information.

Firstly due to a problem with Melange which is the software powering the initiative provided by Google we have been given an extra seven days to submit tasks. So if you still have tasks you would like to submit you can get them into the first round of tasks before Monday 28th November. We would particularly like to see tasks that focused on fixing bugs in a module or library, or perhaps writing or adding tests. We also seem to have very few Perl6 focused tasks so would appreciate any that addressed this. If you miss this date don’t worry as the next round is due on the 16th December 2011 where we can add more tasks. We currently have 335 tasks listed for our students to attempt, but the more choice we have the more students we can attract and many of the tasks can be completed in a few hours. We already saw success on the very first day of the event when a student completed a task and it was verified (before 08:00 UTC Tuesday which was within the PST that Google uses), two others were awaiting verification from mentors.

We would like to encourage all those people who have decided to sign up as a mentor, who think that they have the time to try mentoring (we will give help and each mentor has a back-up and support from the other mentors), or who have added their name to the list on the wiki but have not yet filled out the form, to go online at: http://www.google-melange.com/gci/profile/mentor/google/gci2011 as soon as possible and sign up. We have so far had twenty-eight people sign up as mentors and would dearly love to have more so that we can cover all the tasks and students . The role is a valued one and is enormously rewarding when you consider you are involved in perhaps the next generation of programmers who will help shape our world, and who knows we may encourage more people into the glorious world of Perl.

So far we have had twenty-five students sign up for the tasks that are on offer. Students will often complete more than one task and many of them will do a handful of tasks. the most successful applicants are invited to attend a special conference at Google’s headquarters in San Francisco and all students are rewarded for successfully taking part. If you know of anyone who would like to attend, or have the ability to pin up a flyer at a school, social club or other venue attended by student, particularly if you know a teacher or head of IT at a local school or young person’s college than we would be very grateful if you would do so. the flyers are available as pdf files online at:

Full colour – http://www.perlfoundation.org/attachment/press_releases/GCi-2011-basic.pdf

Reduced colour (prints in B&W) – http://www.perlfoundation.org/attachment/press_releases/GCi-2011-basic-home-small-office-printer.pdf

TPF press releases – http://www.perlfoundation.org/press_releases (simply scroll to the bottom of the page)

Students and Mentors can sign up at any point during the initiative but the sooner they do so the better it will be.

Thanks for all your help thus far, Rafl, Paul and I will be sure to keep you all updated as we progress through this year’s initiative.

- mdk