My Journey: Getting Selected in Summer of Bitcoin '22
6 min read
On May 1, I received an email saying that I was one of the 82 interns selected amongst 20317 applicants for the Summer of Bitcoin 2022 program. I was really happy and surprised as I didn't have any high hopes at that time. This blog covers my journey of getting selected into the program from the very beginning.
So everyone might be asking a question: What is Summer of Bitcoin?
Before answering that question I would like to share my takeaways from it :)
Before Summer of Bitcoin, I literally had zero experience with blockchain and bitcoin all I knew was about hashing and salting, not more than that. This program not only gave me a Bitcoin learning experience but it was my first major OSS contribution, I used to make small APIs but at the end of this, I actually not only created new APIs but also improved their auth system via access tokens.
To make things amazing we also got a Hardware Crypto Wallet (Ledger Nano S), swags, T-shirt, a Bitcoin-Genesis imprinted mug, a book, and a Laptop bag!
Last but not least, I made contacts with really amazing people who were pros in the Blockchain space!
What is Summer of Bitcoin?
A global program that matches students with open source, free software, and technology-related organizations working on bitcoin to write code and become part of these communities while making some BTC along the way! The organizations provide mentors who act as guides through the entire process, from learning about the community to contributing code. Students get involved in and become familiar with the bitcoin open source community and put their summer break to good use.
To know more visit the Summer Of Bitcoin website.
How I came to know about Summer of Bitcoin?
I heard about the program in a general discussion held amongst my seniors of the Club of Programmers, IIT BHU and it really caught my attention. I visited their website and gathered all the information that was present on the website.
Round 1: Application Round
In this round students apply to a track (Designer or Developer) of their choice. Students need to write essays.
Be truthful and original to yourself, don't copy from any random sites.
Round 2: Screening Round
In this round, student applicants receive a screening assignment based on their applied track.
The questions are generally based on basic DSA. The peeps with a good hold on DSA might not face any difficulty giving the test.
Note: Applicants with a strong rating on any coding platform, or applicants having prior experience with GSoC or an equivalent open-source program will be eligible to proceed directly to the next round.
Round 3: Proposal Round
Students who successfully complete the screening assignment are invited to an exclusive discord server where they are provided with resources to learn about bitcoin, ask questions, and write project proposals based on the project ideas published on the official Summer of Bitcoin website.
This round lasts about one month, in which we're given resources related to Bitcoin. Moreover, discussions take place in a week or two on the topics given. Lastly, organizations are announced and their respective projects, so by this time you start contributing and start writing the proposal.
Shortlisting organizations is something that is really important, one must shortlist an organization based on the interest, tech stack, and competition as well. I jotted down the list of organizations, deep-dived into their projects, and finally found an apt one. It was Specter Desktop's: Acces tokens for the REST API
This period of the program was really awesome since I learned a lot, personally, it was this period that gave me my first-ever Bitcoin exposure!
Round 4: Interview
After getting shortlisted by the organizations, they call you up for an interview. Here I was asked about my knowledge of Bitcoin and Blockchain, and most importantly about the project on which I wrote the proposal.
Once the results were announced, we were asked to contact our respective mentors, I was assigned with these amazing guys k9ert and Manolis, I literally had no idea how to start my work but my mentors really helped me with it. Before working on the project I did some contributions to Specter Desktop which made me familiar with the codebase. Weekly scrums really helped me to keep my progress on track as they cleared my doubts and we used to discuss enhancements that can be made to the project. I really loved working on this project and contributing!
I've written blogs on my Summer of Bitcoin work:
Midterm Work: https://my-blog.ankurrev.tech/specter-sob-1
Final Work: https://my-blog.ankurrev.tech/specter-sob-final
For the first 5 weeks every Thursday, we had seminars on Bitcoin Protocol Development. These seminars are based on Chaincode Seminars. The topics they covered were:
Week 1: Welcome to Bitcoin Protocol Development
Week 2: Segwit
Week 3: Mining & Network Block Propagation
Week 4: P2P
Week 5: Script & Wallets
Every week, we were assigned a partner, resources, and a discussion question. We worked with our partners to brainstorm answers to that question. Then every week we met in a breakout room and discuss our findings with everyone else. It was so much fun learning and sharing our research with our peers.
These resources will help you with the fundamentals of Bitcoin and some of them will allow you to dig deeper. Studying them will help you understand Bitcoin in order to prepare better project proposals.
Grokking Bitcoin by Kalle Rosenbaum ( must read! ) | Videos of the same book
Bitcoin Whitepaper (must read !)
Mastering Bitcoin covers more of a technical aspect of Bitcoin.
An exhaustive list of Bitcoin resources ( For more depth )
And most important one is chaincode.gitbook.io/seminars but for this, you must have a good understanding of the Bitcoin fundamentals.
I'm not sure if Summer of Bitcoin will have the same exact selection procedure as they did this year because it was somewhat different in 2021 as well, can't comment on that but I'm sure that the pattern will remain the same.
The applications will most probably start from the January 1st week so be prepared. You will find a new timeline on their website. To keep getting updates to follow @summerofbitcoin.
Moreover, I'm really grateful to Adi Shankara, k9ert, and Manolis for this amazing learning experience.
For those who are looking forward to applying for the next cohort of Summer of Bitcoin, all the best guys :) For doubts and questions feel free to contact me: LinkedIn | Gmail
Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed the article! Follow me on Twitter | LinkedIn for more development-related posts. That's all for today! You have read the article till the end.
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