While revising the student's submission for reviewing and merging, I thought of a few ways to improve future new developer participation:
- Better github integration. Staying up-to-date with rtems.git, tracking student progress, and getting code review from more developers would be helpful for quicker turnaround on submissions.
- Style: documentation and code conventions. Clear, consistent guidelines and examples of proper/improper coding style would make reviewing and merging a lot easier.
- Improved Git Workflow. Teaching students how to make useful branches and commits ahead of time would ease code merging, testing, and revising.
- More submissions. We need to get code reviewed if not merged in smaller increments; this need is well-known and repeated.
For getting students to submit and be reviewed more often will take more work on behalf of mentors, developers, and students. Something that may help would be requiring code review as part of the weekly status meetings we instituted this GSOC. Perhaps each student's weekly commits can be reviewed by their mentors as part of tracking progress and status.
Institutional support from RTEMS mentors and developers would help. For example, github integration requires developers and mentors to use github. Style consistency requires a style guide that we accordingly maintain and abide by. Teaching good workflow, and fixing the bad, takes effort: mentors need to (know how to) identify and correct a student who struggles. Increased submission frequency requires urging and commitment from mentors to review code. These improvements take effort, but I think they could substantially improve the participation, progress, and production of students.