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Interview with OSUOSL Google Code-in Student

We're about one month into our participation in the Google Code-in contest and all of our students have been doing a fantastic job, tackling tasks from user interface design to testing and writing new code for our home grown Ganeti Web Manager project. One of our students, Piotr, has really impressed us with his dedication to the project, often asking our mentors for even more tasks to complete. He has already completed seven tasks and is already hard at work on his eighth. When you have such a great experience with your student, it's natural to want to share the story. Piotr graciously told us a little about his experiences, and his father, Marek, was kind enough to give permission for Piotr to be interviewed.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm 17 and I live in south of the Poland. I started learning programming about 5 to 6 years ago, I don't remember clearly. I'm also interested in music (but listening to, not composing) and cycling.

How did you hear about the Google Code In contest? What made you decide to participate?

Two or three years ago there was the Google Highly Open Participation Contest (GHOP). I had missed the opportunity to start working for its projects from the beginning of the contest, so I wanted to get involved early in the following year. I was waiting for any information about GHOP until one day I read about Google Code-in on their Google Open Source blog.

What made you decide to work on projects for the OSU Open Source Lab?

I've known Python for some time now, and I find it wonderful language, so I wanted to work on projects which use Python. OSU Open Source Lab's Ganeti Web Manager not only uses Python, but also one of its famous frameworks: Django. I like both.

You've been doing a lot of work on the Ganeti Web Manager tool. What's the most challenging task you've completed so far?

So far I've done (or almost done) two tasks (logging events in database and the interface to working with user's SSH keys), but divided into smaller ones. Both were demanding, but the latter one involves using JavaScript along with Python, so I think I had more troubles with that task.

Is Google Code-in your first experience contributing to an open source project? If not, what other projects have you worked on?

No, it's not the first one. Personally I also make my own projects open source. I have also contributed to Web2Py, another Python web framework.

What is your favorite part about working with the OSU Open Source Lab for Google Code-in?

I didn't know it at first, but it turns out that Ganeti Web Manager will be used for some important projects at the Open Source Lab and that makes me really happy.

Ed. Note: Look out for an announcement about a cool new project from us using Ganeti Web Manager in the next few weeks.

Are you working with any of the other projects participating in Google Code-in? If so, which ones and what are you working on?

Currently no, but I have done some work on KDE's Polish translation and the MoinMoin wiki engine.

If you could meet any technologist from any time in history, who would it be? What questions would you want to ask her/him and why?

There are many technologists I'd love to meet, but some significant ones include Richard Stallman (I'd thank him for his work on GNU), John von Neumann and Stanisław Ulam, who is also from Poland. I know the last two are mathematicians, but we all owe them for game theory, cellular automata, even the Monte-Carlo method. I'd would have loved to attend their lectures, if there were any. Jacek Karpiński is another person I would like to meet. He was a genius from Poland, called the "second Bill Gates," though his dreams were never realized due to the government policies. I'd like to talk with him about his computers. I would also like to meet Nikola Tesla. He is a very inspiring person, and I'd talk to him about all of his famous inventions.

Anything else you would like to tell us?

I didn't think of this previously, but it turns out that those 9 hours of difference in timezone between Poland and Oregon is sometimes quite a trouble.

Thank you for taking the time to interview with us, Piotr.

And many thanks to Google for putting on Google Code-in. There are just over three weeks left in the contest, so take a look at our task list- and those of the other 19 open source projects participating, and get some code in!

Documentation, user experience research, advocacy materials, testing, etc. all gratefully accepted, of course.

See our news archive for other OSUOSL news stories.