Google Summer of Code 10th year celebration in Singapore

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

During our whirlwind tour of SE Asia, the Google Open Source Programs team made a stop in Singapore to hold an event celebrating the 10th year of Google Summer of Code at the local Google office. Guest writer and GSoC enthusiast Ellen Wang shares her experience of the event below.

On February 25, the Google Open Source Programs team held a 10 year celebration for the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program at the Google office in Singapore. I was proud to attend the event as a GSoC enthusiast and second year CS student at the National University of Singapore and also very eager to learn more about how the program works. It was so exciting that a team from Google flew all the way from San Francisco to visit us.

GSoC, a program that continuously attracts new blood into the open source world, is celebrating its 10th instance this year. Following on the success of the GSoC program for university students, Google started Google Code-in (GCI), a contest for pre-university students (e.g., high school and secondary school students ages 13-17) with the goal of encouraging young people to participate in open source.
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On the day of the event, over 60 people attended the event including past GSoC students and mentors, professors from National University of Singapore and prospective students.  After a warm welcome to all the invitees, two Googlers from the Open Source team, Stephanie Taylor and Cat Allman, talked about the steps involved in applying to this year’s program. Specifically, they talked about the  “10 things” GSoC initiative and described how the program will be enhanced to celebrate a decade of GSoC. One of these enhancements includes a 10% raise in the student stipend to 5500 USD. Stephanie then spoke about GCI and encouraged the audience to help get younger students involved.

Dr. Damith C. Rajapakse, a professor from the School of Computing at National University of Singapore, then gave a speech on his TEAMMATES project which was accepted as a mentoring organization in the 2014 instance of GSoC. National University of Singapore was also recognized for having the 3rd most students from a university participate in this program over the last nine years.

The event then featured local Singapore mentors and past GSoC students who gave talks on their projects, shared their personal experiences, and gave constructive ideas on how to develop a great proposal. This was perfect timing for someone like me, as the application period for students opened just a couple of weeks after the event.

The evening concluded with a networking session for students to talk with mentors, former GSoC students and the visiting Googlers. Guests were also treated to an abundance of  well-prepared food and refreshments. The attendees enjoyed the event very much — it was very successful in raising the awareness of GSoC and open source development. It was a huge help for me as well! I applied to GSoC 2014 (students will be announced on April 21) and I hope to start regularly contributing to open source development. Many thanks to the Google team!

By Ellen Wang Zi, Computer Science Student, National University of Singapore