Google Summer of Code meets Hungary!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Today we have a guest post from a former Google Summer of Code student, Dániel Géhberger, who is eager to spread the word about GSoC to his fellow Hungarians! The student application period for GSoC 2014 is now closed, but we are happy to report that there were 6,313 proposals by 4,420 students this year.  Accepted students will be announced on April 21, 2014.

In 2013, 17 Hungarian students (including myself) participated in Google Summer of Code. Although this is a decent number, I was certain there were many more talented people around these parts who could participate in the 2014 program. I decided to hold an informational session at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics to inform more students about the program.

The members of the Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics helped me to officially organize the event. We decided to hold the event in February on the same date as when the 190 Mentoring Organizations were announced so that the students could dive into different project ideas right away. We created a flyer and sent out many invitations to various student mailing lists.
The day of the event arrived quickly and we were hoping there would be lots of interest. We were pleasantly surprised that the room was completely full five minutes before the official start of the meetup.  We eventually had to move into a larger room as students kept arriving.  We ended up with over 90 students at the meetup! 

We began the event with a general introduction of the program, covering the basic rules, dates, number of participating organizations, etc. The second part was dedicated to short talks about the personal experiences of past GSoC students. We strived to show that GSoC can suit a variety of students. We had one BSc student and two former MSc students speak — their projects ranged from embedded development Linux based systems and games, to an HTTP 2.0 implementation in JavaScript.

During the talks, we tried to emphasize some critical points for new students including choosing realistic projects, proposal writing, and most importantly, how crucial early communication with the organizations is. We also pointed out that participating students can make new connections which, in the long run, can be much more important than the money.
All in all the event was quite successful, and I strongly hope that we will see a huge rise in the number of Hungarian students in 2014. The Google Summer of Code program has opened endless opportunities for me— I hope it can do the same for others!

The slides (in Hungarian) are available on the webpage of the event, and if you are a Hungarian student, feel free to join our mailing list.

I would like to thank everyone who attended or helped to organize the event and special thanks to our speakers: Gábor Molnár (Mozilla), Péter Bozsó (ScummVM) and László Boros (The Fedora Project).

By Dániel Géhberger, GSoC student in 2012, 2013 and mentor in 2014 at The Wiselib