This post is a description of my experience through the application procedure for GSOC’2018 and my selected project proposal. I have been selected as a summer student for GSOC under the organization RTEMS. Real Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems is a real time operating system (RTOS) which is used in several embedded devices. RTEMS has support in various processor architectures including ARM, PowerPC, Intel, Blackfin, MIPS, Microblaze and many more.
Contributing to open source can appear to be confusing and intimidating at first. I was motivated to apply for a project under RTEMS because of an extremely helpful community which promoted discussion on the most trivial doubts, hence rebuffing every strand of the initial fear or intimidation. After perusing through the plethora of open projects, tinkering with the project’s codebase and rigorous reading of documentations I zeroed down on the project “Enhancement of RTEMS runtime tracing”. RTEMS tracing is a software based application which helps track developments in running user applications on host machines in real time. This is useful as it helps identify any complex threading or deadlocks or other real time issues encountered. It is also useful in analysing the performance of the application as per required specifications. The aim of my project will be to integrate all the different components of the RTEMS tracing system which currently function in separate sequential order. I will also contribute to enhancing the functionality of the tracing system by adding kernel level trace support or live tracing functionality. A separate blog post discussing the impact and design of both of these functionalities is under development and will be posted soon.
For anyone hesitating over applying for GSOC, I would say the result does not matter. One learns so much through the application procedure itself that the time invested would not go to waste even if you don’t get selected. It is definitely worth a shot!
I am enthused and excited for the summer ahead. I will be posting about the progress of my project through this blog space. Feel free to contact me if you have questions!