GSoC, Outreachy and other time commitments (other jobs, etc)
>From my understanding, GSoC is not a job, it is a student program that
pays a stipend to every student who passes. That means a
performance-based payment for completing a project, much like a
freelance photographer receives some payment when they hand over a
completed wedding album. Nobody checks how much time such freelancers
spend on the project, it is the completeness of the product that matters.
There have been different statements about this from different mentors
and Google themselves each year. Across all organizations, some mentors
state all students must work 40 hours per week, some even fix the times
when students must start and stop, although not every mentor makes rules
like this. This changes the dynamic from a project-based relationship
to a time-based relationship, but without giving a guaranteed time-based
payment like any other job. Some mentors and students may have concerns
Some students have existing jobs or find it attractive to take a job
with employment benefits like paid medical leave, knowing they will
definitely be paid for those hours and save some money to support them
in the next semester even if they don't pass GSoC for any reason or if
they get sick or have an accident in the summer.
Some students may have other time commitments, like participating in a
sporting team or supporting children.
Outside the scope of GSoC, Debian welcomes everybody, whatever other
commitments they have in life.
For GSoC itself, I'm not convinced that every student needs to spend 40
hours/week to pass but I'm also very doubtful that a student can make a
successful project if working 40 hours/week in another job.
What is a fair way to make this clear for mentors and students? How
many hours per work is it reasonable for a student to spend on another
activity during the summer? For example, if a student has other
commitments under 10 hours per work, is that acceptable? How about 15
or 20 hours? At what level should other commitments be permitted and
when should they be deemed excessive?