How to get accepted in Google Summer of Code

How to get accepted in Google summer of Code!

… An advice from a GSoC mentor


What is Google Summer of Code(Gsoc)?
Google Summer of Code or “GSoC” as it is popularly called, is an annual international program designed for students in tertiary institutions (universities, polytechnics etc).  The aim of GSoC is to bring student developers into the world of open source and make them work on open source software development. So as a student, you will have to do 3 month of work with an open source organization.

Does Google give any form of reward?
Yes, Google does. In Fact, Google will give stipends up to $7,000 (2017). But that shouldn’t be your focus for the competition, as it is just a way to give students the zeal to work with organizations that are solving world problems.

Who is eligible for GSoC?
Anyone over the age of 18 and must be in a university. If you happen to be in a university but younger than 18, you cannot participate.

GSoC Timeline
According to the Google Summer of Code official website, the competition will start from February 12, 2017. Google will announce the organizations and interested student will be given the opportunity to see list of organizations to work with. Visit the GSoC website for timetable
The most important part of the competition is getting accepted into the program as a student, because it is very competitive, considering that most students in universities have some or no knowledge on how open source organizations works and at the same time, there are students who have enough knowledge on how open source work.

How to get accepted
1. You must have a good knowledge of coding. Python, Ruby and JavaScript are one of the most used programming languages in GSoC, but other languages are also used depending on what project you are comfortable with.
2. Learn how to use Git, because you must have some knowledge with version control and be very comfortable with the tool.
3. Learn and make research about unit testing
4. Write a killing proposal; You need to tell the organization, why they should trust and pick you for the project.

Your proposal must define who you are and the project you have worked on.
I advise you to visit this website to see how to write a good proposal. This competition is not for beginners; My advice, don’t apply because you will be wasting your time and resources. Even if you get accepted into the competition, you can still get kicked out.

According to Wikipedia in 2016, GSoC received about 18,000 registered students. 178 mentoring organizations received 7,543 proposal from 5,107 students, and 1206 students were accepted to join the program. To increase your chances of getting accepted, you need to bond with the community you want to work with.

How do I bond with a community?
1. Introduce yourself to the community mailing list
2. Join their IRC channel to join other contributors
3. Read developer’s guide
4. Clone projects to your system
5. Find bugs and fix it
6. Get noticed by asking questions, be willing to contribute.
7. Familiarize yourself with the community codebase

 

Examples of past projects

List of organizations that participated last year can be found here

Previous projects
Sugar Labs is a great organization to begin with, they widely use Python and JavaScript. Sugar Labs own a desktop called Sugar (not the Sugar you are thinking), an environment for education

that is built on top Linux and written in Python, PyGTK and GTK+.
How to bond with Sugar Labs:
1. Contribute to their projects on Github
2. Understanding how to contribute to the community by reading this guide
3. Get a linux(Ubuntu, Fedora) running on your computer
4. Join the Sugar Labs developer’s mailing list here

 

You can communicate with Sugar Labs on IRC with the channel name of #sugar on freenode.net or you directly use chat platform like webchat, from the Sugar Labs dedicated domain chat.sugarlabs.org or you directly chat on the sugar labs official website.
This is an advice from Samson Goddy (A GSoC mentor with Sugar Labs) and you can follow him up on Twitter for questions.

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Samson Goddy

Samson Goddy is a Developer from Nigeria. He is really passionate about Open Source and promoting technology in Africa. You can shoot him an email samsongoddy@gmail.com and @samson_goddy on twitter