University of Toronto GSoC 10 Things meetup

Friday, December 20, 2013

This week we have a guest post from Google Summer of Code mentor, Amar Takhar, discussing our recent Google Summer of Code "10 things" meetup in Toronto.

Since 2005, Google Summer of Code has been creating millions of lines of open source code for the world to use. To celebrate the 10th year of the program in 2014,  members of Google's Open Source Programs office are traveling the globe visiting countries with high participation rates over the past 9 years of the program.

I was lucky enough to attend one of these events on November 8th in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the University of Toronto. I'm all for community involvement (especially in my home country!) and it’s very exciting to see Google showing this type of interest. The event was open to anyone interested in learning more about GSoC, Google Code-in and Google’s involvement in the open source community. There was a strong showing with over 60 attendees, including students and mentors from previous years of GSoC as well as students new to the program.

Speakers & Projects
Google Open Source Programs Office team members, Stephanie Taylor and Mary Radomile, spoke about the programs and their success and what the team has planned for the future.

The event also featured eight lightning talks (3-5 minute presentations) given by mentors and former students from the Toronto area who discussed their projects and personal experience with GSoC. They included:
Oh, Canada!
I was amazed to learn Canada has had 869 mentors and 347 students since the program’s inception in 2005. The University of Toronto has had 58 students participate in GSoC making it the #7 school overall in participation!

The event concluded with a reception - dinner, chatting and of course, tons of Google swag. There were several developers and past attendees of the GSoC Mentor summit in attendance who were able to field questions from eager students. I had a long chat with one of these students who had cursory knowledge of GSoC. He came away from the event excited and eager to participate next year. Based on all the ideas that were passed around and new connections made, I would say the event was a resounding success!
Photo by Zoe Song

I’d like to encourage not only GSoC participants to attend future events that Google holds, but also students who are interested in learning more about the program and Google’s contribution to the Open Source community.

Participating in Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in has been an adventure I look forward to each year.  I think it would be fantastic to have an annual GSoC meetup here in Toronto where we could help spread the word. I'm already looking forward to the 10th year and all the new developers I will meet!

By Amar Takhar, Buildbot, NTP, RTEMS Mentor