This past weekend I attended the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit 2023 as part of the KDE delegation.
I have been a mentor for GSOC almost every year since 2005 but this was my first time attending the mentor summit.
There were sessions about the typical things you'd expect: how to get more diverse folks as students, how to make sure we onboard them correctly, sustainability, funding, etc. All in all nothing groundbreaking and sadly no genius solution for the issues we face was given, but to a certain degree it helps to see that most of us have similar problems and it's not that we're doing things particularly wrong, it's just that running a Free Software project is though.
Carl Schwan and me ran a Desktop Linux session together with Jonathan Blandford of GNOME (check his Crosswords game, seems pretty nice) and basically asked folks "How happy are you with the Desktop Linux", you can find the notes about it at https://collaborate.kde.org/s/HKn6BoNCRNezn3K Nothing we don't know about really, Wayland and flatpak/snap are still a bit painful for some folks even if there's a general agreement they are good ideas.
I also organized a little session for all the attendees from Barcelona (it was about 6 of us or so) to
sell them talk about Barcelona Free Software
One thing that always pops up in your mind when going to events is "How useful was it for me to attend this" since traveling to California from Europe is not easy, it is not cheap and it means investing quite some time (which in my case included taking vacation from work).
Honestly, I think it's quite useful and we should attend more similar events. We get to know key people from other projects and we make sure other projects know about us. One of the most funny interactions was me sitting in a table, someone joining and saying "Woah KDE, you guys are super famous, love your work" and literally seconds after another person joining us and saying "Uh, KDE what is that?"
There's not much pictures because Google forbids taking pictures inside their buildings, the few exceptions include the chocolate table, it's quite a large quantity of chocolate we got to try, thanks Robert from Musicbrainz for pushing people to bring it :)
I'd like to thank Google and KDE e.V. for sponsoring my trip to the Summit, please donate at https://kde.org/fundraisers/plasma6member/