Outreach Program for Women


Once again we are participating in the Outreach Program for Women. The program will be running from May 19th - August 18th 2014. The application deadline is March 19th 2014.

The main program page contains general information about the program such as the timeline, background information, eligibility, requirements, and details of the application process.

We would encourage potential interns to start getting involved with their communities and and to start thinking about project ideas now.

Interns are encouraged to come up with their own project ideas. We will, however, but putting together a list of suggestions and possible mentors.

Program Coordinators:

  • Karen Pauley - karen at perlfoundation.org
  • Ya'akov Sloman - yaakov at perlfoundation.org

Project Ideas

Working on MetaCPAN

About MetaCPAN

http://metacpan.org is an open source search engine for the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), an ever growing archive of code and documentation for
the Perl programming language.

MetaCPAN is a community effort, with all the code freely available on GitHub. We are a relatively young open source project. At this point, MetaCPAN is about 2.5 years old. It's old enough to have become an important and well utilized part of the Perl world, but it's also young enough to have lots of room to evolve. As you will see we have many ideas and encourage more suggestions. You'll find one a current list of our many code contributors here: https://metacpan.org/about/contributors

Our code base is based on current best practices and modern web technologies. Our stack includes Catalyst, Plack, ElasticSearch, jQuery, Bootstrap and nginx. We also use Puppet for deployment and Vagrant + VirtualBox for development VMs. We have integration with Twitter, Github, PAUSE, Facebook and Google. All code is managed on Github and we have an active channel (#metacpan) on irc.perl.org.

There are many available projects within MetaCPAN which you could take on or contribute to and there is also room for you to suggest improvements which you would like to make. The project list is ever growing and subject to change as volunteers take items on, but here's a sampling of what we'd love for you to consider working on.

Module tagging.

This is one of the most important things which MetaCPAN potentially can offer to the Perl community at large. A way for users to contribute to the categorizing and organization of the many, many available modules on CPAN. "There's more than one way to do it" is a good thing, but it can also get in the way of solving a problem when you are faced with too many choices. Some thoughts on tagging are posted here: http://blogs.perl.org/users/olaf_alders/2013/03/sifting-through-the-cpan.html

Web of Trust.

Dave Rolsky, back in 2010 posted an idea he had about how to mark modules as trustworthy (ie used by people he trusts). He said: "I've long wanted some sort of "web of trust" system for CPAN. A CPAN user would mark authors and/or distributions as trusted. We’d take the graph of trust relationships and try to figure out which authors and modules are most trusted. Trust here would be some combination of good code, good docs, responsive author, whatever. The idea is to organically highlight the best of CPAN, and in particular help people discover the best modules in their class. I think this would be really useful for new users, and a lot more useful than the current CPAN rating system."

Using ++ data (which we already have) and possibly module tagging, we can provide "web of trust" data. This does not, however, require the module tagging implementation to be useful and this would be of great value to many in the Perl community.

Bug Fixes

There are hundreds of outstanding issues waiting to be resolved. The large number of tickets is not indicative of a lack of response on the part of MetaCPAN developers (we try to stay on top of them), but it indicates the enthusiasm with which people are helping us track ways to improve. Starting with some open issues would be a good way to familiarize yourself with our codebase.

API Documentation

Because things traditionally have changed so rapidly, our documentation has either not kept up or not been written to completion. You can help us (and many Perl developers) by documenting the API and posting example code for both new and experienced MetaCPAN users. For example, most people do not know that MetaCPAN can function as an OAuth provider and could, therefore, be used for authenticating users across a range of Perl services. You could post example code for this use case and help facilitate MetaCPAN OAuth integrations.

MetaCPAN is used by web, command line, Android and iOS apps, so there are many kinds of examples which could be documented.

What Can We Offer you?

It's already clear from the materials above that there are many ways for you to make your mark on MetaCPAN, but what can we offer you? You will have the chance to be mentored by experienced (and employed) Perl developers. We will carefully review all of your code and give you constructive (and kind) feedback. We will help you improve your code and your coding practices. MetaCPAN is a positive place. We will help you get from A to B with your code, but your work won't be trashed and you won't be insulted. We value all contributions and we want every contributor to know that she or he is appreciated. There are some harsh places on the Internet and in Open Source. This is not one of them.

You'll have the chance to learn about the technologies as listed in our "stack" above. You will have help and guidance in working with these technologies from people who are quite familiar with them. Your code will deploy on robust hardware (think 30+ GB of RAM). Your code will often deploy within hours or even minutes of being submitted. Your work will immediately be put to the test by our many users on our very busy services. You'll gain experience in NoSQL (ElasticSearch), git, and also in participating in an Open Source project which functions as a highly available web service. You will gain experience not just in writing code, but in participating in the full cycle of code deployment, skills which are quite valuable in the real world.

If any of this sounds remotely interesting to you, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can contact me directly via the information listed below. If you just want to see how you like the project, feel free to get involved via github, IRC or both. We'll guide you through the process and you can decide for yourself if it's a good fit for you. We look forward to hearing from you.


Olaf Alders
Twitter: @wundercounter
IRC: oalders (always in #metacpan on irc.perl.org)

Our github org: https://github.com/CPAN-API/

Front end: https://github.com/CPAN-API/metacpan-web
API: https://github.com/CPAN-API/cpan-api

(On IRC you can ping me ("oalders"), or "mo", "ranguard" or "rwstauner" to get the most up to date information, but there are also many others in the channel who are very helpful.)

Working on Dancer


Dancer is a simple but powerful web application framework for Perl

Possible tasks could include working on documentation, design, code refactor, feature implementations, feature smoothing, Git branches cleanup, ticket queue cleanup, marketing, coordinating efforts with the community and the team themselves.

For more information about the possibilities and to begin contributing please contact the mentor for this project: sawyer x - xsawyerx at cpan.org.

As we are also taking part in the Google Summer of Code there are many Perl community project ideas to be found there any of which would be suitable for this program. Applicants who are students applying for coding projects are encouraged to apply for both programs with the project from either source.


February 24th application period opens
February 24th - March 19th applicants need to get in touch with at least one project and make a contribution to it
March 19th application deadline at 7pm UTC
April 21st accepted participants announced on this page at 7pm UTC
May 19th - August 18th internship period

Payments Schedule

The GNOME Foundation will be administering the payments of the $5,500 (USD) stipends.

May 22nd $500 will be sent to participants who have begun their internships by this date
July 7th $2250 will be sent to participants in good standing with their mentors by this date
August 25th $2750 will be sent to participants who have successfully completed their internships by this date

The decision about good standing and successful completion will be made by the mentor in consultation with the program coordinators. An intern can request the coordinators to re-review this decision.