Google Summer of Code 2011

Starting today, students may apply for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2011: applications must be submitted by no later than April 8.

As Jason wrote last year, GSoC is a great opportunity for students to gain experience–and get paid–”working with real-world software development teams and organizations” on open-source projects. According to Google, since 2005 “the program has brought together over 4,500 students and more than more than 4,000 mentors & co-mentors from over 85 countries worldwide.”

Here’s how the process works (again, quoting Jason’s 2010 post):

In general, an organization . . . applies to become a mentoring organization and as part of the application process suggests an “ideas list.” If Google accepts the application, that ideas list becomes a starting point for students to use for their applications to participate in their project. Students apply to the mentoring organizations directly, the organization chooses their participants–up to as many slots as Google allocates to the organization–then begins to work with their assigned mentor in a manner they work out together. Mentors and students create progress evaluations, and by the end of the summer final evaluations are completed, code is uploaded, and students get their stipend from Google. (See timeline for more information.)

For example, let’s say a student is interested in working with Universal Subtitles, one of the mentoring organizations this year. (I’ve written about Universal Subtitles before.) The student can check the list of “Universal Subtitles Summer of Code 2011 Ideas,” and then get an application template from the relevant page at the GSoC site. Applications are due by no later than April 8, and accepted applications will be announced on April 25.

This year the list of opportunities looks very interesting and includes the following (which, admittedly, I picked somewhat at random and grouped somewhat by similarity):

  • AbiWord: word processing.
  • LibreOffice: a suite of office productivity programs.
  • Blender: a 3D animation suite.
  • Visualization Toolkit: “an open-source, freely available software system for 3D computer graphics, image processing and visualization.”
  • Elgg: a social networking framework.
  • Electronic Freedom Foundation/The Tor Project: “work[ing] in the public interest to protect fundamental civil liberties in the digital age.”
  • Code for America: ” leveraging the power of the web to bring innovation and openness to the public sector.”
  • Creative Commons: “a nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.”
  • Django Software Foundation: a “Python Web framework” that “lets you build high-performing, elegant Web applications quickly.”
  • Moodle: “a Learning Management System written in PHP, designed to help teachers facilitate communities of learners in a variety of interesting ways.”
  • Sakai: “an open source Open Academic Environment for learning, teaching and research.”

Do you know a student who might be interested in this opportunity? Point them towards theGoogle Summer of Code Web page! Do you have a favorite project facilitated by Google Summer of Code? My favorite is probably Stylebot, which I’ve written about previously.

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