Imagine getting the chance to work for some of the biggest software companies in the world. This is while you’re in university and getting paid for it as well. You also get the chance to be in the spotlight and contribute to the open-source software community. If you’re still interested in taking this opportunity, then you should apply for the Google Summer of Code.
In case you’re lost, the Google Summer of Code (GSOC) is an international annual program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together over 12,000 student participants and over 22,000 mentors from 118 countries worldwide. Over the years, it has produced over 30 million lines of code for 567 software organizations.
With the 2017 edition of GSOC on the horizon, an awareness session about the program was held at the University of Moratuwa. Much of the speakers at this program were former Google Summer of Code interns who were there to encourage the participants to join the programs in the coming year. The first speaker at this awareness program was Akshila Wijesundara – software engineer at Cambio. He was previously a GSOC internet at OpenMRS.
During his session, Akshila emphasized on the legacy the University of Moratuwa has regarding the Google Summer of Code. In fact, over the past 12 years, the University of Moratuwa has produced the highest number of GSOC interns. Currently, that number is at 320 interns. Following, Akshila’s session, Manujith Pallwatta – an Undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa dispelled common myths about the Google Summer of Code.
Afterward, we saw Harsha Kumara – a senior software engineer at WSO2, speak on the importance of Google Summer of Code. During his session, Harsha shared his experiences as a mentor with the OpenMRS foundation. The next presentation was conducted by the trio of Dammina Sahabandu, Sudheera Palihakkara, and Dimuthu Upeksha, all of whom were senior software engineers at Adroit Logic. Their session introduced the basic technologies one needed to know to join the Google Summer of Code.
Following their session, Pubudu Dodangoda – software engineer at Cake Labs took the stage. During his presentation, he shared how he successfully submitted his GSOC proposal by collaborating with his friends. He strongly emphasized that anyone could succeed in the Google Summer of Code as long as they put in the effort.
The final session of the awareness program was conducted by Ramindu Deshapriya – Technology Consultant at VirtusaPolaris. Ramindu was a former Google Summer of Code intern and was the GSOC organization admin for Sahana Software Foundation. During his session, Ramindu shared the organization’s perspective on the program and how the selection process occurs. He concluded his session by sharing some of the benefits the undergraduates would enjoy by becoming GSOC interns.
While the speakers touched on many specific topics, there were some common themes during their presentations. Many of them focused on the importance of contributing to open source software projects and the benefits of the GSOC program. Additionally, they also shared some important guidelines and activities undergraduates should follow to help increase the likelihoods of getting accepted into the Google Summer of Code.
Much of these guidelines focused on maintaining a proper public profile, which included building and maintaining a personal blog or website. Another activity encouraged by the speakers was the participation of hackathons along with other national and international coding events. In doing so during their undergraduate years, students have a higher chance of being accepted into the Google Summer of Code.
With the conclusion of the final presentation, the awareness session came to an end. However, the organizers hope to make this session the first of many. One of the speakers, Akshila Wijesundara stated that they are hoping to more sessions at other universities. The organizers hope to see students from every university in Sri Lanka join GSOC 2017. So if you’re interested and want more information about the Google Summer of Code click here.