LWN.net interviewed Leslie Hawthorn, the main person behind Google Summer of Code. I liked how a small team in a big company Google can feel like a startup sometimes.
I think the most important lesson I learned was to just get out there and make things happen, no matter how many mistakes you'll make along the way and no matter how many pairs of eyes are watching you make those mistakes. When I started with the team, I had no FOSS experience whatsoever and was quite worried about doing the wrong thing, and very publicly no less. Over time, I realized the it was far better to make as much progress as possible and make the inevitable course corrections required rather than try to get everything right from the start.
I've also learned that a small group of people who are dedicated to making the world a better place can be incredibly successful in doing just that. It may sound like a cliche, but I never imagined when I started working on Summer of Code that I would have the chance to help so many individuals and projects make things better.
(pic by CRUSTINA!)