Thanks to UCOSP, this school term has been a very busy and exciting one, where I get to work with some talented students and mentors on the ReviewBoard project. As the term draws to a close, I have learned many aspects of working on an open source project that has a wide user spectrum. I learned that effective communication and cooperation is vital to the successful progression of a project. Every week, we hold a one-hour online group meeting through IRC to ask and answer questions, and exchange thoughts and ideas. Moreover, the UCOSP blog provides a convenient facility to exchange developer tips and tricks, project status and other important information. Students and mentors also communicate actively via e-mails.
Over the term, I have been working on adding the features of uploading, storing and displaying per-diff file attachments. Up to this point, the UI, database model and business logic changes for storing and displaying the attachments have been implemented. The remaining work is modifying the Web API and the PostReview tool to enable the features.
Although this term has been a great learning experience, I’ve realized that it would have been even more rewarding if I had done more thorough preparation before the term started. This is exactly what I would suggest to new UCOSP students. One or two weeks before the first UCOSP orientation meeting, learn as much as you can about the project on your own, including the programming language, the source control system, and any related tools. Then, you can take hard questions to the orientation meeting and get the most out of the opportunity to have the talented mentors instruct you face-to-face. By doing this, you will be taking a big first step towards your success in the term!