Do you feel passionate about any open source technology? Or you want to explore one during your summer vacations? On the top of it, if you get a mentor to guide you all along and a stipend of 5000 USD, would you be interested? Yeah! Keep reading then.
Google announced its consecutive 7th year for Summer of Code program on January 24, 2011. Google Summer of Code program encourages students from all over the world to engage in open source project development of their choice for 3 months.
Look out for the details of the program here: http://socghop.appspot.com/ and the timeline: http://www.google-melange.com/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2011/timeline
Although the applications for students will be accepted only after 28th March, here are a few tips that might help you:
- Accepted list of organizations will be announced on 18th March, but it is expected to remain almost similar to the last year. So you should find out more about the organizations before hand (http://socghop.appspot.com/gsoc/program/accepted_orgs/google/gsoc2010).
- If you feel passionate about an organization/technology or even a bit interested, get in touch with people on respected forums/IRC. It will let you know more about the organization, expectations from the program and in certain cases, you are expected to submit patches/code which is reviewed before your application is accepted by an organization. Moreover if you are really interested then start contributing now, and everybody will know you when you finally apply for the program.
- If you have an idea, put it forward asap. Try to put as much details as possible or even a proof of concept. Even if your idea is rejected by the community, you know it before the GSoC program even starts. And if you get support for it, there are much more chances that your project will be selected by the organization. A win-win situation for you, isn’t that amazing!!!
- Don’t be disheartened if you do not have an idea (most of us don’t). Many organizations will publish a list of ideas, which they want the potential GSoC students to work on. Make sure you research a lot, take part in discussion on forums on the idea before submitting your application. If possible set up a personal repository, code something and provide a link to it with your application. This will not only show that you are interested in the project but will also showcase your coding skills.
- Do not forget to follow the coding practices if published by the organization or common guidelines which will make your code more legible. http://drupal.org/coding-standards
- Last, communicate yourself properly. As you would be working online for 3 months, and mostly you & your mentor will be interacting online, try not to be confusing while explaining yourself in writing. http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/02/how-to-write-without-writing.html
I will go over the list of reasons on why you should apply for the program in short. You get to work on what you like and you get paid for that. You will also meet a lot of interesting and intelligent people and will be amazed how helpful they are to your silly questions. Last but not the least, you will have something big on your CV after college, NICE.
If you are looking for inspiration, you can go through this discussion which I started when I was about to apply for the program last year: http://groups.drupal.org/node/57743. I received a lot of suggestions and criticism which mostly turned into features for the project: http://dupal.org/project/fbsmp.
I am proud to be a Google Summer of Code student, would you like to be next?