SoK/Administer the SoK

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Revision as of 15:59, 12 December 2023 by Joseph (talk | contribs) (Added external links (mentorship website, invent, mailing lists))
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Administer an event can seem complicated even more when there is no guide about it. This page tries to be an informal guide on helping you discover what are the necessary steps to admin a SoK based on SoK 2022 experience.

Creation of the event (around 1 or 2 months before the event)

Preparation of the event

    T0: announcement date of SoK
    T1 = T0 + 1 month mentor/contributor applications deadline
    T2 = T1 + 1 week: announce the projects
    T3 = T2 + 2 days: start of work
    T4 = T3 + 3 months; end of work
    T5 = T4 + 3 days: results announcements
    T6 = T5 + 1 month: certificates issued + shipping of the swag/merchandise

Gathering of the ideas

Promote the event

  • As soon as we know the SoK will take place, we need to prepare a blog post and communication to ensure we reach as much as good potential contributors as we can. Ask Promo ( to promote the event! Something like 2018, 2020 announcements.

Inform on how to register

As a contributor

  • Send a mail to all potential contributors to enter their application with the subject: "The contributors are supposed to create the project themselves after contacting their potential mentors and discussing with them. Generally we also expect from the contributor to write a bigger text than the one in the idea page."
  • Send a kind reminder two weeks before the deadline (example and a fix of a mistake in the previous mail).
  • It is up to the contributors to create the project themselves in the website after contacting their potential mentors and discussing with them. Generally we also expect from the contributor to write a bigger text than the one in the idea page.

As a mentor

Check this email as reference:

  • Send the mail to tell to register to the app, and select the project they want to mentor.
  • As admin, go to the mentor application page from time to time to approve mentors only if they are listed on the SoK ideas list or if you are sure they are "long-term" contributors (do not accept anyone if you are not sure they are a mentor).
  • Do not assign mentors to a project, it is up to the mentors to do it.

Once applications deadline is passed

  • Ask mentors to mentor for the projects they are willing to mentor and that they don't wait the last moment to do it.

The day of accepted projects

  • Accept the proposals which have mentors.
  • Create the status report page for this year if it does not exist yet:
  • Send a welcome mail including to ask for reports from contributors: and ask promo if they can do an article on with selected projects (it is best to help them by providing the content with all selected projects).
  • Don't forget to also send a mail to all contributors that were not accepted to explain that they can still contribute outside SoK and it does not have to be the end their journey within KDE.

During the SoK

  • Ask willing contributors to write blog posts about their progress and publish it in the feed(Git project). In all cases, they have to write regularly their status reports.
  • There is no mid-term evaluations but if mentors/contributors need to, they can stop at anytime but they need to inform the kde-soc-management team.
  • Be present in the kde-soc Matrix channel in case there are questions.

End of work

  • Once the end of work target is reached, mentors have around one week to mark the projects as completed. To do so, go to the project page at, where there will be a new box "Feedback" with a checkbox "Completed" and a Submit button.
  • Submit a short summary of the project for a wrap-up blog post about the different projects and their status (see, e.g.,

After results announced

  • Generate the certificates for each contributor: Git repository.
  • Optionally, you can update the background image when it's become "too" old (or ask in krita-artists if anyone is willing to help create a new one).
  • Usually, we go with FreeWear (contact) for customising the goodies. Feel free to contact the Visual Design Group if you need help with the design!
  • With the KDE e.V., discuss the budget for the SoK goodies to be sure we ask a quotation that fits.
  • Gather information for every contributor who wants to get the swag. Namely:
  - Project name
  - Real name
  - email
  - Phone number
  - Postal Address
  - T-Shirt size and fit

Improvement ideas/questions

Some suggestion/feedback from SoK 2022/2023.


  • More communication and sooner: SoK 2022 felt a bit rushed for everybody, mentors didn't have the time to polish their ideas, promo didn't have the time to promote the event before it started, contributors didn't have enough time to prepare their proposals as the SoK was announced late.
  • Deadlines: Have deadlines for mentor proposals come first, with the deadline for contributor proposals later. Or have only one deadline renamed "Deadline for SoK proposals". The way it is currently presented in the timeline is confusing.
  • Announcement: Make clear that SoK is not only for developers, but also for graphic artists, translators(?), documentation writers, etc.
  • Terminology: Be consistent in terms used (e.g., students or mentees).
  • Promotion: Contact or interview former SoK mentees to collect materials for attracting potential new contributors.
  • Contributor development: Position SoK as a possible first step in contributor development, something like: Step 1 SoK mentee -> Step 2 submit GSoC application -> Step 3 mentor an SoK project.

For mentors

  • Attracting mentors: Provide information about why mentoring can be interesting and valuable for a project.
  • Training: Hold a "mentor-the-mentors" workshop with old and new mentors to share strategies and brainstorm ideas for the coming year. This will also clarify expectations and align mentors across projects. Additionally, this also be a time to decide who does what and when (e.g., issuing the certificates, organizing swag, writing the final summary post).

For mentees

  • Defining success: Clarify what will result in passing/failing SoK.
  • Defining expectations: Provide information early on about what is expected during SoK (e.g., status reports, blog posts, etc.)


Is there a hardcoded limit for postuling, editing proposals...?

Nothing limits anything in the code but it is better to stick to the deadlines.

What's the difference between "Accepted" and "Mentors"?

Mentors need to put themselves as mentors before the announcement of the selected projects. The project will be accepted when it is announced.

External links

KDE's Mentorship Website

Season of KDE at Invent

KDE-Soc (KDE student mailing list)

KDE-Soc-Mentor (KDE mentor mailing list)

KDE-Soc-Management (KDE admin mailing list)