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Wrapping up Google Code-in 2017

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Today marks the conclusion of the 8th annual Google Code-in (GCI), our contest that teaches teenage students through contributions to open source projects. As with most years, the contest evolved a bit and grew. And it grew. And it doubled. And then it grew some more...
These numbers may increase as mentors finish reviewing the final work submitted by students.
Mentors from each of the 25 open source organizations are now busy reviewing the last of the work submitted by student participants. We’re looking forward to sharing the stats.

Each organization will pick two Grand Prize Winners who will be flown to Northern California to visit Google’s headquarters, enjoy a day of adventure in San Francisco, and meet their mentors and Google engineers.

We’d like to congratulate all of the student participants for challenging themselves and making a contribution to open source in the process! We’d also like to congratulate the mentors for surviving the unusually busy contest.

Further, we’d like to thank the mentors and the organization administrators. They are the heart of this program, volunteering countless hours creating tasks, reviewing student work, and helping students into the world of open source. Mentors teach young students about the many facets of open source development, from community standards and communicating across time zones to version control and testing. We couldn’t run this program without you!

Stay tuned, we’ll be announcing the Grand Prize Winners and Finalists on January 31st.

By Josh Simmons, Google Open Source

OpenCensus: A Stats Collection and Distributed Tracing Framework

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Today we’re pleased to announce the release of OpenCensus, a vendor-neutral open source library for metric collection and tracing. OpenCensus is built to add minimal overhead and be deployed fleet wide, especially for microservice-based architectures.

The Need for Instrumentation & Observability 

As a startup, often the focus is to get an initial version of the product out the door, rapidly prototype and iterate with customers. Most startups start out with monolithic applications as a simple model-view-controller (MVC) web application. As the customer base, code, and number of engineers increase, they migrate from monolithic architecture to a microservices architecture. A microservices architecture has its advantages, but often makes debugging more challenging as traditional debugging and monitoring tools don’t always work in these environments or are designed for monolithic use cases. When operating multiple microservices with strict service level objectives (SLOs), you need insights into the root cause of reliability and performance problems.

Not having proper instrumentation and observability can result in lost engineering hours, violated SLOs and frustrated customers. Instead, diagnostic data should be collected from across the stack. This data can be used for incident management to identify and debug potential bottlenecks or for system tuning and performance improvement.

OpenCensus

At Google scale, an instrumentation layer with minimal overhead is a requirement. As Google grew, we realized the importance of having a highly efficient tracing and stats instrumentation library that could be deployed fleet wide.

OpenCensus is the open source version of Google’s Census library, written based on years of optimization experience. It aims to make the collection and submission of app metrics and traces easier for developers. It is a vendor neutral, single distribution of libraries that automatically collects traces and metrics from your app, displays them locally, and sends them to analysis tools. OpenCensus currently supports Prometheus, SignalFX, Stackdriver and Zipkin.

Developers can use this powerful, out-of-the box library to instrument microservices and send data to any supported backend. For an Application Performance Management (APM) vendor, OpenCensus provides free instrumentation coverage with minimal work, and affords customers a simple setup experience.

Below are Stackdriver Trace and Monitor screenshots showing traces generated from a demo app, which calls Google’s Cloud Bigtable API and uses OpenCensus.



We’d love to hear your feedback on OpenCensus. Try using it in your app, tell us about your success story, and help by contributing to our existing language-specific libraries, or by creating one for an not-yet-supported language. You can also help us integrate OpenCensus with new APM tools!

We hope you find this as useful as we have. Visit opencensus.io for more information.

By Pritam Shah, Census team

Googlers on the road: Linux.conf.au 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

It’s summer in Sydney and Linux.conf.au (LCA) 2018 is just a week away. LCA, an annual event that attracts people from all over the globe, including Googlers, runs January 22nd to 26th.

LCA is a cornerstone of the free and open source software (FOSS) community. It’s volunteer-run, administered by Linux Australia, and has been running since 1999. Despite its name, the conference program covers all things FOSS. The event is five days long and includes two days of miniconfs that make the program even more interesting.

The Google Open Source team is escaping “wintery” Northern California and will be hosting a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session and co-hosting an event with GDG Sydney, both focused on our student programs.

A few Googlers ended up with sessions in the program and one is running a miniconf:

Tuesday, January 23rd
All day     Create hardware with FPGAs, Linux and Python Miniconf hosted by Tim Ansell (sold out)
11:40am  Learn by Contributing to Open Source by Josh Simmons
5:15pm    Assembling a balsa-wood Raspberry Pi case by Josh Deprez

Wednesday, January 24th
3:50pm    Securing the Linux boot process by Matthew Garrett

Thursday, January 25th
12:25pm  Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in Birds of a Feather session
6:00pm    Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in Meetup with GDG Sydney

Friday, January 26th
11:40am  The State of Kernel Self-Protection by Kees Cook
1:40pm    QUIC: Replacing TCP for the Web by Jana Iyengar
2:35pm    The Web Is Dead! Long Live The Web! by Sam Thorogood

Not able to make the conference? They’ll be posting session recordings to YouTube afterwards, thanks in part to students who have worked on TimVideos, a suite of open source software and hardware for recording video, as part of Google Summer of Code.

Naturally, you will also find the Google Open Source team at other upcoming events including FOSDEM. We look forward to seeing you in 2018!

By Josh Simmons, Google Open Source
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