[Wesnoth-dev] Wesnoth Summer Scholarship
Posted by Noy on May 04, 2010 - 23:35:
With GSOC on its way its time to discuss our other scholarship
efforts. Last year we had our Wesnoth Summer of Art Scholarship, which
was judged as being very successful. Our two candidates, Kitty and
TheSpaceInvader, produced a number of great art pieces which
benefitted the game. I think the administrators also got a better
handle of what works and what doesn't, which will assist us in future
We're somewhat in a different position this year. First off we're now
an incorporated not for profit organization, which aids in the
implementation of this project by providing an institutional backbone.
Second, we have a significant financial windfall to provide
scholarships. This is largely due to profit sharing with Kyle Poole's
There are a few things we need to discuss. Financially we're probably
able to support between four to six 5000 dollar scholarships,
depending on a few variables like future sales and the location of the
candidates (Non-US candidates cost more due to witholding tax.) The
number of scholarships isn't so much an issue, but how we allocate
them can be. In discussions with Dave and some of the other developers
we'd like to broaden the range of the scholarships. As with last year
we should have a significant number of art scholarships. In addition,
Dave has also suggested we offer a WML specific scholarship to promote
new UMC game content. I think this is an excellent idea, which should
add more game content and exploit some of the technical improvements
that have been made on the programming side.
Now I'd like to consider a third type of scholarship, which I know
maybe slightly controversial but I think could be quite beneficial for
the program. I'd like one of the scholarships to be offered to female
developers. I believe one of the most attractive aspects of wesnoth's
development community is its inclusiveness. The program is translated
to a number of languages and we offer development opportunities to a
wide range of skills sets and different levels. That was partly the
intent behind the art scholarship last year; we attempted to draw in
greater contributions from individuals not typically involved in open
source development (artists.) A examination of open source community
shows that women are highly underrepresented in the field, which is
unfortunate. I believe that we're well placed to work on this area. We
already have some excellent contributions from women developers, such
as kitty, and I'd like to build on that.
I think its also important to note that I think we should retain
strong standards on quality and organization for this scholarship. I
don't think we should lax our standards, but instead offer a strong
incentive towards women developers to come and contribute to our
game. As Wesnoth is already a fairly inclusive and positive
environment and this would be an easy way to show that to the world.
I think its also important that we state that we're looking for
someone who would be interested in long term participation with the
program, not something that will end after they are paid. This program
would also benefit the open source community in general by promoting
women developers in general.
Some nuts and bolts issues. To attract candidates I propose
approaching some of the women programming organizations and blogs and
informing them of what we're trying to achieve. I'm sure most would be
willing to post about it. There is one issue with my proposal which
needs a bit of work; we're bereft of mentors due to GSOC. I'm hoping
that someone who isn't part of GSOC might be able to help.
Alternatively we might make this less of a mentorship scholarship
(like GSOC) and simply a straight scholarship with minimal
supervision. I have a suspicion that this will attract quite a bit of
attention and we'll get a good slew of high quality candidates. The
Mentorship group will judge these candidates and make a decision.
Obviously we'd encourage these individuals to participate on IRC and
I'm sure our community will help them where possible. I know this
maybe a controversial subject but I think if we do this right it will
be a major benefit for our program.
So there you have it. Obviously comments are welcome.
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, Updated Sat May 29 09:00:05 2010