GHOP was, and still is, very special to me and many other contestants.
It's accessible for every one, and caused that the contestants were/are creating things of what they perhaps didn't thought they could ever realize at all. For example: at the beginning of GHOP I didn't even knew what a unit test plan was, how to create documents and also I didn't knew anything about coding, PHP. Now I know it, I'm still improving my skills. Because of the enormous Joomla! community, the feedback, the complete API, the help documents, the forum.. I was able to complete my tasks. I really love it to get all positive comments on what I'm doing. I learn from all feedback I get. GHOP caused I know Joomla! (especially 1.5) very well now. I'm able to answer lots of questions about Joomla! 1.5, and help out other (Dutch) community members.
I remember starting with GHOP. I thought it was all about coding, nothing for me. I took a closer look at it, and found out it was also about translating, documenting, testing, and many other things. Asked for permission from my parents, they thought I was a bit crazy ("why should you do work for others..?"), but I just decided to translate the Installation Manual, and thought that would just be it. I absolutely loved it, doing this kind of community work. When there was another translation task available, I claimed it, as soon as possible. I learned a lot of translating the important blogs about 1.5. I really loved the comments, and wanted to continue with GHOP. There were no translation tasks left, and the creating of Unit Test Plans seemed to me as very useful, with the upcoming 1.5 release. Created 2 of them, and then started testing 2 others. I still loved the community, and wanted to continue with GHOP. I claimed the module for Digg List Stories.. my first module! It was difficult to start, but after some troubles I got the 'feeling' for it and so I was able to end it 'easily'. Because there's more than GHOP, I started to work on making documentation for the doc-camp. I really enjoyed - and still do - all the chats at the IRC, and so others helped me, and I tried to help others as well.
Yeah, my parents still think I'm crazy. They think it's strange I'm not doing the work for the money at all. "So.. what do you get for it??".. A very good feeling would be the only correct answer. And a GHOP t-shirt.
I like it so much to come in contact with the wonderful Joomla! community in this way. Didn't knew before it would be this great to contribute to the Joomla! community. I will continue with contributing to Joomla!, of course.
I think it would be very, very, very difficult to say who is the 'winner'. You guys have to deal with the most difficult task within GHOP: to choose one of the students as a winner. How could you?.. GHOP is such an enormous project, and lots of students were so great dealing with their tasks, sharing it, trying to learn from the feedback.
I'd like to thank the whole GHOP team, the developers, the testers, the translators, the document writers, actually, I'd like to thank the whole Joomla! community, without them, or better, without us, Joomla! didn't exist!
Greetz, MariekeJoomla! Documentation Working Group | Joomla! Bug Squad Member | Joomla! Development Working Group
1.6 Help Screen Project Leader
Joomla!Community (Dutch Community) Documentation Team leader