Scala GSoC 2021 is finished: meet the team!

Monday 27 September 2021

Vincenzo Bazzucchi, Scala Center

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Google Summer of Code (further: GSoC) 2021 edition is completed 🎉

In this post we want to celebrate the students and mentors who made Scala GSoC 2021 a success!

GSoC is an international annual program in which Google awards stipends to University students who successfully contribute to open source projects. The goal is to help open source projects identify and bring in new developers by offering students the opportunity to gain real-world software development experience.

Scala GSoC 2021: Introducing students and projects

The Scala Center had the honor to organize Scala GSoC 2021 and the pleasure to help coordinate 4 brilliant students and their mentors. In this section we introduce and welcome them in our Community!

Add synthetics and symbol information for semanticdb in Scala 3

Student: Rikito Taniguchi

Mentors: Tomasz Godzik, Chris Kipp, Jamie Thompson, Aleksander Boruch-Gruszecki

SemanticDB is a data model for semantic information such as symbols and types in Scala programs. It is widely used for developing Scala’s devtools such as scalafix and Metals. However, the SemanticDB extractor for Scala3 was a work in progress, and some features in devtools were unavailable for Scala3. This project focuses on enriching SemanticDB with additional information from the Scala3 compiler in order to improve the developer experience of Scala 3 developers You can read more here

Rikito’s work enables a huge amount of features in tools used for working with he Scala 3 code including Metals and Scalafix. There is nothing currently that think Rikito can improve as his work has been completely stellar.

cit. Tomasz

Cross compiling “Shapeless 2” to Scala 3

Student: Katrix

Mentors: Julien Richard-Foy, Aleksander Boruch-Gruszecki

Shapeless is a crucial dependency of many popular Scala libraries. This project explores how the Scala 2 version of the library could be cross-built for Scala 3 by porting some parts to Scala 3. It aims at helping library maintainers to adopt Scala 3 faster. You can read more here

Congratulations for your work on Shapeless, especially for being so autonomous in this project!

cit. Julien

Implement support for ScalaPy in Scala 3

Student: Mykola Medynskyi

Mentors: Shadaj Laddad, Anatolii Kmetiuk

ScalaPy is a library that enables Scala programs to use Python libraries. This project brings support for Scala 3 to the library to enable users to leverage all the new cool features that the new language versions ships while relying on powerful and well known Python libraries. You can read more here

Mykola’s contributions bringing support for Scala 3 are really impressive and will enable many new research and production use cases in the future!

cit. Shadaj

A special thanks goes to Zhendong Ang who co-menthored Mykola and collaborated on the project for his semester project at EPFL.

A Python - Scala integrated environment with Almond, Ammonite and ScalaPy

Mentors: Anatolii Kmetiuk, Alexandre Archambault

ScalaPy is a library that enables Scala programs to use Python libraries. This project focuses on improving developer experience by simplifying the setup process, providing autocomplete functionalities in Almond and Ammonite, enriching the documentation and object displays. You can read more here

This work kick-started a better integration of the ScalaPy library in Scala notebooks, making it easier to use Python libraries from there, and helping the future prospects of both Scala notebooks and the use of Python libraries from Scala.

cit. Alexandre

Thank you, Mentors!

Scala GSoC 2021 would not have been possible without our Mentors that dedicated their time and energy as volunteers to guide new contributors. Thank you mentors for the great work. We hope to see you in the next edition(s)!

Here are a few of the comments that students submitted:

Both mentors are very helpful to me in this project and I learned a lot from them (Hi Alex and Toli!)

Thank you so much Tomasz for mentoring me [..] Thank you so much for helping me with communication: pinging to reviewers, inviting Jamie to the call, and always trying to move the project forward. I admire your communication skill. and thank you so much Jamie for reviewing my Pull Requests!

Shadaj Laddad and Anatolii Kmetiuk are great mentors. Anatolii is incredibly skilled in explanations. He perfectly explained in 30 minutes the basics of metaprogramming in Scala which I could not understand for a month before it by reading Scala docs and I am very thankful to him for this. Shadaj is an excellent coordinator. He has a great vision of the whole project, possible problems in it, and how to fix them. Also, his code reviews helped me to learn how to make my code better and I am also very thankful to him. It is a pleasure to work with them.

We also want to thank our candidate Mentors who accepted the call of the Scala Center to propose interesting project ideas and who volunteered their time:

  • Wojciech Mazur
  • SĂ©bastien Doeraene
  • Adrien Piquerez
  • Eric Loots
  • Meriam Lachkar
  • Dale Wijnand
  • Fengyun Liu
  • Lars Hupel
  • Krzysztof Romanowski
  • Mateusz Ziarko
  • Felix Mulder
  • Noel Welsh

How to get involved in Scala GSoC 2022

Google has not disclosed information about the 2022 edition of GSoC yet. We can however learn from previous editions how to prepare for it and, if it follows the same general organization of 2021, the event might start as soon as February 2022, so it’s not too soon to start. Here is how:

For Open Source Project Maintainers

First and foremost it is important to keep an updated list of project ideas: open source projects willing to be part of the GSoC should maintain GitHub issues, project boards or simple text files containing proposals for students. To make your project more approachable, offer projects with different levels of complexity and various topics. You can find useful information about project proposals at https://google.github.io/gsocguides/mentor/defining-a-project-ideas-list

You should also identify at least one mentor and one backup mentor for each proposal. This will speed up the application process but also make the project visible to students before the event starts, increasing the chances that motivated students will take the opportunity to work on your repository.

Communication is fundamental too: candidate mentors are encouraged to communicate about their participation in GSoC and about project ideas throughout the year. Be responsive to students approaching you on the project channels (GitHub issues, Discord, Gitter, Twitter…).

If you maintain a Scala library and would like to be part of Scala GSoC 2022 with the help of the Scala Center, do not hesitate to contact us at scala-gsoc@epfl.ch!

For Students

If you are a student and want to be involved in Scala GSoC 2022, get in touch with the maintainers of the projects that you would like to contribute to. The GitHub repo or project site will contain information about communication media such as Discord, Gitter, Twitter or good-old email.

Remember that most maintainers volunteer their free time for open source, so do not expect immediate replies. You can find some tips about making first contact at https://google.github.io/gsocguides/student/making-first-contact

You can also start to think about project proposals (you can find a lot of useful info at https://google.github.io/gsocguides/student/writing-a-proposal) and discuss them with project maintainers.

Feel free to contact us at scala-gsoc@epfl.ch if you get stuck along the way, we are happy to help within our capacities.

Even more: Brief history, stats, and goals

The Scala organization has been involved in GSoC for many years thanks to the efforts of Martin Odersky’s lab (called LAMP) at EPFL:

Student participations by year

In 2021 the Scala Center decided to revive this long tradition of successful projects (only 2 students in 9 editions did not complete their projects) with help of the maintainers of open source Scala libraries.

For this year’s edition we gathered 28 project ideas and 20 candidate mentors motivated to support students with such ideas. We received 10 applications and after reviewing proposals and assigning students to mentors, we retained 4 projects to enter the program.

For the 2022 Scala GSoC edition, we are aiming to attract at least 10 new students and we invite you to help us by

  • offering to be a mentor
  • letting us know if you have a student interested to participate
  • spreading the word!