So your proposal wasn't selected for Summer of Bitcoin?
Don't despair! You now have an idea of how bitcoin works and why it’s an important project. You also probably have a good understanding of the various project communities working on bitcoin. This knowledge will help set the stage for your bitcoin journey in the future.
What to do now?
First, don't take it personally. Just like when you apply for a job, there are several reasons why you might not be a right fit for your project.
So, where to go from here? There are several strategies you can consider to go forward positively.
What might you have done differently?
Some example questions to think about:
Was there a mismatch with my skills and the project requirements? If so, what skill areas can I work on to be better qualified next year?
Did I engage enough with the community during the application process?
Was my communication with the project community professional, thorough and in public in a true open-source spirit?
Did I contribute to the project during the application process?
Was my project plan clear and detailed?
Introspecting about what you might be able to do differently next time is a great pathway to success.
Find ways for doing the project anyway
For those contributors with the drive to forge ahead without financial support, you may find that the project communities are welcoming to all contributions! Don't be afraid to approach your community, dive into their code base and find ways to contribute with bug fixes and code reviews.
Remember, all of the current contributors started somewhere in the beginning, most without any financial support and eventually found a way to become part of the project and sustain their living.
If you've already invested time and energy getting to know a community, stay involved! Subscribe to relevant mailing lists, participate in chat channels, or fix small bugs that you have time for.
There are also many non-code ways you can contribute to software. If you're interested in documentation, graphic design, release testing, public relations or marketing, most projects welcome contributions in these areas. Taking on small non-code projects can be a great way to stay connected and build a reputation in a community. The bitcoin.design community is a great place to hang out if you're interested in open-source design and UX.
Try a new organization
Maybe that project wasn't the right fit! Part of selecting a project is selecting a community that works with you. Re-read our chapter on finding the right organization and project. Keep looking until you find the right fit!
Just keep trying. Never give up. If none of your proposals get accepted, sit back and relax. You have a whole year ahead to improve your chances with the open-source community by contributing as much as you can.