(Please note that the figures used in this article are from 12:00 UTC on Tuesday 27th December and they are pulled from a download of data from the Melange interface, the absolute accuracy is dependent on the people providing the data (very good IME) but will, therefore, not reflect the exact situation at the time of your perusal).

The Story Thus Far…

The Google Code-in is an initiative aimed at 13-17 year old school/college students with the idea of getting them involved with open source. Further reading can be found in the first two articles of this series: Google Code-in – Fit the First and Google Code-in – Fit the Second.

Understanding the Figures

It is now approximately five weeks (five weeks and one day totaling 36 days) since the students were allowed to start working on the tasks for this year’s Google Code-In. The initiative is set to run for a total of 57 days for the students to work on tasks with a few extra weeks (mostly before students started) where mentors and organisers have work to do, so there are 21 days of work remaining where tasks can be completed. Since the start of the project there was a further task release (16th December) where we added about 30 more tasks to the initiative.


Chart of Days for Google Code-in

Chart of Days for Google Code-in


Chart of Days for Google Code-in

Pie Chart of Days

There has been an impressive amount of work done, and tasks closed thus far.The figures I have collected are:

  1. We have eleven tasks that are currently claimed or have a claim requested, 2.82%;
  2. We have 137 tasks that are closed and completed, 35.13%; (1)
  3. There are 7 tasks currently pending review to be completed/re-opened for further work, 1.79%;
  4. There are 4 marked as needing more work completed on them, 1.03%;
  5. There are 231 tasks remaining on our lists, 59.23%;


Chart of Tasks Numbers and Status

Chart of Tasks Numbers and Status


Pie Chart of Tasks Numbers

Pie Chart of Tasks Numbers

From these figures we can say that we have completed above a third of all the possible tasks we had for this year. And in the next couple of days as we review, work and close tasks that figure should rise to about 40%. It is still too early, and in a holiday period too hard to guess, what percentage we will reach at the end of the initiative but I am hoping for a rather conservative 50% of the total number of tasks which is a huge figure when we take into account the days worked on the tasks thus far.

The average length of a task, and this is an estimate based on a mean statistical average, is 3 days in length of student time, the mentors will put in anything from a couple of hours to a half day on each task dependent on the complexity and amount of interaction.

To work out this statistical mean I took the list of task lengths:

  • 2 tasks at 4 hours duration
  • 3 tasks at 1 day duration
  • 204 tasks at 2 days duration
  • 131 tasks at 3 days duration
  • 29 tasks at 4 days duration
  • 11 tasks at 5 days duration
  • 1 task at 5 days 10 hours duration
  • 3 tasks at 6 days duration
  • 6 tasks at 7 days duration

Added this up to a total number of expected days: 1,90.78 days total and then divided this by number of tasks (390) which gives us a figure close to 2.8 days (2.79687179.) that I rounded to 3 days average.

This means from the list of Tasks closed (137 or 35.13) we have a total of 383 man days (383.171435 – 137 x 2.79687179) worked by the students on the initiative. (2) So we have in just 36 days done over a years work on Perl projects which is so fantastic that I can do little more than point at these figures and smile broadly.

The completion of one task is a bonus to the organisation, language and projects. the completion of close to 40% of a huge list of tasks in just five weeks is astonishing and the fact that this has brought more than a years worth of work to Perl projects and libraries is stunning. the students, mentors and organisers of this year’s Google Code-in have a lot to be proud about. I look forward to bringing you a final set of these figures in three weeks when we have the close of the event.

If you encounter any of the participants for this year online or offline make sure to add your congratulations for the job they have done so far.

Moar People Please

Student Bodies

We would dearly love to have more students sign up to the initiative so please do your utmost to spread the word around, students and mentors can sign up at any time during the whole of the initiative so it isn’t too late to join in.

If you can put up some flyers, or send them to a local school/colleges technical science/equivalent department there are templates available on the Perl Foundation website:

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)


We would also like to make a plea to you all to consider being a mentor, you can take just one task and help a great deal, the typical task takes a couple of hours to review and work with the student, some tasks take more but there is a community of mentors willing to help you in the irc channel #gci on irc.perl.org.

All mentors current and future should add their name to the mentor list on the wiki so that we have a record of who you are for the future so we can all look back and bask in the glory :).


If you cannot mentor, if you don’t know students, if you live on a desert island beach that is only visited by lost killer whales looking for an Asda to buy seal steaks at, you at least have an internet connection and you can help spread the word through the social and traditional media channels of our World Wide Webular Community, so please do at least that :).

Thanks in advance


(1) However if a task has been closed because it has been unable to be completed, or for some reason along those lines it will be included in these figures.

(2) Please keep in mind that these are statistical averages and although reasonably accurate only a manual counting of exact task lengths will give an exact figure, these illustrations are purely to give an idea of the impact.