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How Google’s 2020 summer interns became the newest contributors in open source

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Our internship program changed in structure this year to accommodate a virtual environment, and we enjoyed seeing the intern involvement in our open source teams. Now, as the Summer 2020 Interns have departed Google, we’ve seen widespread impact across these OSS projects. Some accomplishments from the intern community included:
  • Mohamed Ibrahim, a Software Engineering major at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, interned on the Earth Engine team in Geo. He built a web app from scratch that allows Earth Engine developers, who are primarily climate and remote-sensing researchers, to build rich UIs for their Earth Engine Apps without needing to write any code. Mohamed also learned two coding languages unfamiliar to him, enabling him to write over 10,000 lines of TypeScript, 480 lines of Go, and merge over 30 PRs during one internship.
App creator demo
Web app demo
  • Vismita Uppalli, a Cloud intern and Computer Science major at the University of Virginia, wrote a tutorial showing how to use AI Platform Operators on Apache Airflow, which is now published in the official Airflow docs.
  • Colin Marsch interned with the Android team and published a blog post for Android developers, "Re-writing the AOSP DeskClock App in Kotlin," which has reached over 1,600 viewers! He is scheduled to graduate from the University of Waterloo with a major in Computer Science in Spring 2021.
  • Satyam Ralhan worked in the MyHeart team in Research to build a first-of-its-kind Android app that engages users in conversations to encourage healthy habits. He created a demo, which explores the different phases of the app and how it learns to personalize lifestyle suggestions for various kinds of users. He is in his fourth year at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, studying Computer Science and Engineering.
    MyHeart app demo
  • An Apigee intern, Nicole Gizzo, presented her work analyzing API vocabularies at the API Specifications Conference. She is majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and will graduate in May 2021.
  • The OSS Fuzzing Interns have found and reported over 600 bugs to critical open source projects like the Linux kernel and Nginx, over 100 of which were security vulnerabilities.
  • Madelyn Dubuk, a SWE Intern on the Cloud DPE team and a Computer Science major at USC, worked with three other interns to create a full stack web app to help better understand test flakiness, and enjoyed working directly with other interns.
Initial feedback from our interns indicates that their OSS contributions won’t stop when their internships end. Of the interns who worked on OSS projects, 69% plan to continue contributing to OSS, enjoying the ability to talk about their work and have a broader impact. Beyond the impact on OSS, we’ve seen tremendous professional growth for our interns. Lucia Cantu-Miller, an intern on the Chrome team and Computer Science major at ITESM Monterrey, reflected she was, “proud of seeing how I’ve grown during the internship. As the days passed I became more confident in my work and in asking questions, I have grown a lot as a person and as a professional student.” Lucia wasn’t the only intern to experience this as 98% of interns who worked on OSS feel that Google is a good place to start a career. The success of this summer’s Internship is due in large part to the many contributions of Google’s OSS community—from the intern hosts to the project champions and mentors—we can’t thank them enough for their support. 

By Emma Stamp, Google Engineering Education
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