We're getting some experience of proposals for projects now so we thought it was worthwhile writing down some of our suggestions on how you can hopefully become more successful in working on the Jikes RVM this summer. This is intended to supplement the material provided by Google.
Do I need to be a Jikes RVM, compiler, garbage collector or JVM expert to apply?
Certainly not! We hope that our involvement in the GSoC will introduce people to our code base and make them experts, from undergraduates to PhD students. Clearly the projects are challenging and you should describe your experience in your applications, so we should be able to tell if you are being overly ambitious. To get feedback about this early, why not contact the mentors?
Interest in certain projects on our proposal page is higher than for others. Every application for a project will be considered and then scored by the mentors. Its ok to have >1 applicant working on the same proposal. However, when applying for the same project the mentors will be comparing your application to that of others. We therefore believe that to have as many students as possible working on the Jikes RVM this summer, if you are interested in >1 project you may increase your chances of being allocated at least one of your choices of projects by submitting >1 application. Google allow up to 20 applications per student, but we'd agree with their sentiment that quality is more important than quantity.
What should be in the application?
When making your application you should try to convey to us that you have a good understanding of what the project is, that you will be able to manage your time effectively this summer, that this is a project that interests you and why, and your background.
- To show an understanding of the project, why not describe to us what you think the project will entail. Contact the mentors for feedback on this or look elsewhere in the Jikes RVM web pages.
- To show time management you can create a time plan. Show us when you think certain key activities will be complete. How does your time plan fit in with the timeline from Google?
I'm definitely interested but want to check out the Jikes RVM first, what should I do?
Why not download and build the source, you may be surprised at what building a Java VM in Java looks like. On this site is information on a range of teaching resources and tutorials. You can also browse the source code through the API.
I've got more questions what can I do?
Contact the mentors directly or e-mail the researchers mailing list.