Google Summer of Code 2023 Final Results!

Monday, December 4, 2023

On November 17th, we wrapped up our 2023 Google Summer of Code program where 903 contributors completed open source projects for 168 OSS organizations. This year 70% (628) of the successful 2023 contributors opted for a 12-week project, while the remaining 30% (275) completed their GSoC work over the past few weeks. That being said, many contributors choose to continue involvement in the OSS community after finishing their GSoC projects. GSoC is typically just one small chapter in a contributor's lifetime open source journey.

This certainly was one of our most enthusiastic groups of mentors & GSoC contributors yet. We were able to host multiple virtual check-ins where contributors had the chance to ask GSoC Administrators questions and get live reminders and advice regarding the program and its milestones, the response to these sessions was overwhelming with one session having over 60% of 2023 GSoC contributors attending. Our final virtual event as part of this series was a multi-day ‘Contributor Talks’ Series where 43 participants had the chance to give three minute Lightning Talks about their GSoC projects.

Quick GSOC 2023 by the Numbers: 99% of 2023 orgs say that GSoC has value for their organization, 83% of 2023 contributors said they would consider being a mentor, 30% of 2023 contributors said that GSoC has already helped them with a job offer, 99.8% of 2023 contributors plan to continue working on open source, 88%
of 2023 contributors were first-time GSoC contributors meaning 12% had participated in GSOC before, 96.25% of contributors said they would apply to GSoC again.
In 2023, GSoC contributors rated their GSOC experience as 3.79/4. Mentors gave their GSoC contributor's overall performance a 4.41/5.

Our mentors and GSoC contributors spent a lot of time giving us invaluable feedback from the program so we wanted to share a few top insights below. Their comments help us to keep the program relevant and to continue to meet the needs of open source communities and new open source contributors.

Advice for future contributors

As we head into our 20th year of GSoC, we wanted to highlight some of the advice that the 2023 GSoC contributors offered to future contributors. Much of the advice falls into the themes of:

    • Communicate early and often with mentors.
    • Take the time in February as soon as orgs are announced to find the right org and choose a project you are excited about, it will make the program much more enjoyable.
    • Set realistic goals and break tasks into milestones.
    • Be open to learning! Open source can seem intimidating but you have amazing mentors and the community there encouraging and supporting you.

We welcomed 18 new mentoring organizations this year, many of which were able to attend our Mentor Summit on Google’s campus a few weeks ago.

In 2023, 10.15% of GSoC contributors were non-students. This was the second year since we opened up the program to non-students. We hope to continue to have more potential GSoC contributors who are changing careers or not currently enrolled in academic programs join the program.

“My advice is to just go for it. I'm a thirty-something career-changer who doesn't have a technical background; at times, I doubt myself and my ability to transition into a more technical field. During GSoC, I was paired with knowledgeable, friendly, engaging mentors who trusted me to get the work done. It was empowering, and I did work that I'm extremely proud of. To anyone in my shoes who may be afraid to take the plunge, I highly encourage them to do so. Seriously - if I can do it, anyone can."
      – brittneyjuliet, GSoC’23 Contributor

Favorite part of GSoC

GSoC contributors have shared their favorite parts of GSoC with some very common themes:

    • Working on real-world projects that thousands/millions of people actually use and rely on
    • Interacting with experienced developers and truly being part of an enthusiastic, welcoming community
    • Making a difference
    • Gaining overall skills and confidence to boost their careers that can’t be obtained from classrooms alone

How GSoC improved their programming skills

95.5% of contributors believe GSoC improved their programming skills. The most common responses to how GSoC improved their skills were:

    • Practical experience. Applying programming concepts and techniques to real projects.
    • Learning to write cleaner, more maintainable code.
    • Enhanced problem solving skills.
    • Project management - learned how to break large, complex problems into smaller, organized tasks.
    • Learning to understand complex codebases.
    • Learning new concepts and technologies.
    • Engaging in code reviews with mentors regularly helped to grasp industry best practices.

We want to thank all of our mentors, organization administrators, and GSoC contributors for a rewarding and smooth GSoC 2023. The excitement from our GSoC contributors throughout the program and our mentors at the recent Mentor Summit was palpable. Thank you all for the time and energy you put in to make open source communities stronger and sustainable.

GSoC 2024 will be open for organization applications from January 22–February 6, 2024. We will announce the 2024 accepted GSoC organizations February 21 on the program site: GSoC contributor applications will be open March 18–April 2, 2024.

By Stephanie Taylor, Program Manager, and Perry Burnham, Associate Program Manager for the Google Open Source Programs Office