I participated twice as a student in Google Summer of Code, in 2010 and 2011, for the WordPress Foundation. For my first summer project I worked on a social learning platform called Courseware for BuddyPress social network. Two years later, together with my friend David, we launched our own startup based on my Google Summer of Code experience, The Courseware Project. Before becoming a student in the program, I had already been involved in a lot of local and global open source communities (Ubuntu, Mozilla, WordPress) and being part of Google Summer of Code was a natural outcome which greatly improved my professional abilities and relationships with people involved in these projects.
During the meetup I tried to share my experiences and answer as many questions as possible about being a Google Summer of Code student and give helpful tips on how actions to take so the organization will want you for another year as a participant or mentor once you finish your current project.
By Stas Sușcov - former Google Summer of Code student and Developer/Operations at Coursewa.re
----As a user and creator of open source technology I’m a big believer in its benefits. That’s why when I saw this year’s Google Summer of Code announcement I thought: I need to promote it to as many students as possible. My presentation was a very quick introduction to the concept of open source, the possible reasons for contributing and what steps somebody should take when starting to work on an open source project. The slides used in the presentation are available under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.
In my opinion the main benefits for students who contribute to an open source project through the Google Summer of Code program are:
learning how to use tools like IDEs, VCSs, issue/bug trackers, build systems, etc. - these are integral parts of a programmer’s daily life but rarely mentioned in studies at universities
learning how to work with an existing project and its infrastructure - most of the projects people end up working on already exist, but in university most of the projects students are taught about are described as being created from-scratch
learning how to communicate with others, especially remotely - as much as 80% of a programmer's job is communication and working on an open source project is a great way to practice this
having something tangible to show on one’s resume
and finally the monetary benefits are also nice
By Attila-Mihály Balázs, developer at Udacity
The Catroid Project has been lucky to be a part of Google Summer of Code for the past two years (we were just chosen for a third year). During that time we have noticed that European students are less likely to apply for the Google Summer of Code program, or at least for our project. We believe that there is a lack of information about Google Summer of Code and Free and open source software (FOSS) in general here in Europe and we feel there is great potential for FOSS projects to acquire more contributors if students only knew about initiatives like Google Summer of Code. Our goal with these meetups is to inform university students about Google Summer of Code and to spark interest in FOSS.
We held a Google Summer of Code information session at the University of Technology in Graz, Austria on the 13th of March 2013 where there were over 50 students from various information technology fields. We held a second session at the Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey on the 11th of April with 10 students in attendance.
Our information sessions are designed as a general introduction into Google Summer of Code including what the program is, who can participate, a short overview of projects that participated in previous years, how to apply, and who should apply. Next Sercan Akpolat did a presentation on the Catroid Project and Peter Grasch presented on KDE. They discussed their projects, the mentoring process and the way they go about choosing students from their many applications. We then ended with a question and answer (Q&A) session.
We had very positive feedback and realized that none of the students had ever heard of Google Summer of Code before walking into the room. During the Q&A, the students expressed their concerns about the workload necessary for Google Summer of Code. Most questions regarded the expertise and working hours required for successful participation in the program.
Based on his experience in previous Google Summer of Code years, Sercan explained that the typical workload is challenging but achievable. Regarding the expertise level required for the program, Sercan and Peter explained that intermediate knowledge is sufficient. The Google Summer of Code is designed to inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development, to learn and to broaden their minds.
By Annemarie Harzl and Sercan Akpolat, The Catroid Project