Google Code-In 2019
So, in 2018, we tried to register LibreOffice in the Google Code-In 2018 program. We passed the registration process but we got these emails from Stephanie Taylor from Google clarifying how it works and why it wasn't a good option for us:
We would like to have LibreOffice involved in GCI but we are reviewing your GCI Org application and you note you have 5 mentors. Does that mean you have 5 mentors ready to devote 20+ hours a week and then you have other people ready to jump in 5+ hours a week? 5 mentors is not enough for the number of students you will likely get coming to do tasks with LibreOffice. If you have 5 mentors that are devoting significant time plus another 10-20 ready to put in at least 3-5 hours a week plus help get tasks created then I think you would be okay._
Google Code-in is a completely different type of program than GSoC. 13-17 year old students are not fans of reading documentation (even less than university students). They will ask questions that are clearly in your documentation. Some require more hand holding than others. Some orgs had 563 students complete tasks with them (which means they probably interacted with at least 750+, others had 35 students - the average was around 280 students. And each student generally completes 1-3 tasks with around 10-15 students per org doing anywhere from 10-80 tasks (usually winners and finalists do at least 20 tasks). There is a lot of communication back and forth.
GCI is a program for orgs who have mentors who are dedicated to teaching young minds about the ins and outs of open source- it is what many veteran mentors call a labor of love because it is an exhausting 7 weeks of nonstop emails, IRC/chats with students, reviewing tasks, creating tasks, students telling you to review their work faster, etc. But those that participate usually come back for more because getting through to the 3 or 4 or 5 really devoted students and watching that lightbulb come on is worth it. It is not for all orgs or all mentors. I say this to everyone. I would much rather scare mentors and have them choose to not do the program than to do it and not be prepared as it will only be a negative experience for the org and the students, no one wins in that scenario.
The program has been growing year over year by leaps and bounds (participation increased by 265% last year over 2016). At a bare minimum orgs need 3-4 mentors that will spend about 3 hours a day (minimum) answering question on chat channels and then also have plenty of other mentors to sub in or who can at least help out for a couple of hours a few days a week throughout the contest including weekends and any holidays._
So, for 2019, we should get more mentors and more tasks.