10th Google Code-in Sets New Records
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The winners of Google Code-in 2019 have been announced. The Grand Prize winners, who represent 21 countries, will get to enjoy a 4-day trip to Google HQ to meet with mentors from the open source projects they work on and with Google engineers.


Google Code-in is an annual global, online contest that introduces teenagers to the world of open source development. GCI 2019 was expected to be a big event as it was the coding competition's 10th anniversary. In the event it broke records in every respect. The number of 13-17 year olds participating increased to 3,566 and the number of open source organizations rose to 29, but it was the number of tasks completed that saw the most impressive rise - to 20,840 over the seven-week period of the contest.

Statistics tell part of the story but to know more about the experience we turned to the blogs of a couple of the open source organizations who were involved to find out more about the GCI experience. 

The Julia blog revealed that 2019 was the first time it had participated in the program and that:

It turned out to be a lot of effort.

However it was probably effort well spent as 212 young people have completed over 690 tasks. Thanking and congratulating the students, the blog notes:

Some of them have continued contributing beyond the set tasks within the program. We hope some of them will come back to GCI and GSoC in future years.

Writing blog posts was the remit of some of the tasks students were asked to do and looking at one posted by one of the Grand Prize winners, Kim Fung with the title "An Introduction to Continuous Integration & GitHub Actions for Julia" you cannot help but be impressed by the quality of the write up. It clearly states the problem faced by open source software of merging code, explains what Continuous Intergration (CI), Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment are and in general and in the context of GitHub. It continues with a section on why CI/CD is important for Julia and how to set up a CI script for a Julia repo using GitHub Actions with clearly explained code. CGI tasks are expected to take 3 to 5 days to complete and this one comes from a 17-year old and is exemplary.

I also came across a blog post from Aria Vikram one of the Grand Prize winners nominated by the Open Roberta Project. The article Coding With GCI and Open Roberta Lab,  outlines several of the tasks worked on during GCI, giving short videos of what are described as "fun NEPO programming tasks". With regard to GitHub tasks the student claims 

I made 17 pull requests during the course of the GCI period and many of those involved digging through a code base with thousands of lines of code and identifying where the change needed to be made. Of course, the mentorship was excellent and I was able to complete each of the tasks within relatively short periods. 

Aria Vikram's post concludes with:

The organisation was also receptive to new task suggestions coming from participants and several of us came up with suggestions which ended up as tasks for other participants. It symbolised the true nature of open source.

Overall, this experience has made my last two months filled with growth and learning.

GCI is conducted entirely online and at the end of the seven weeks each of the 29 open source organizations had to identify six prize winners. All of them are awarded a special GCI jacket and a GCI tshirt  The 58 runners up, two from each project, each receive a GCI backpack as well as the jacket and tshirt and the 58 Grand Prize Winners get an expenses paid trip of a lifetime to Mountain View. The country from which the largest number (20) them will travel is India. The United States has the second largest contingent (7), followed by the United Kingdom and Poland (5 each). Sri Lanka is represented by three students, Canada and New Zealand by 2 and the following countries are each home to one Grand Prize Winner: Australia; Bahrain; Bosnia/Herzegovina; France; Luxembourg; Mauritius; Netherlands; Nigeria; Norway; Philippines; Spain; Thailand; United Arab Emirates; Vietnam.

I think this shows that Google Code-in really does have a global impact - on students and open source projects alike. Long may it continue to improve the quality of code and documentation.  


More Information

Announcing our Google Code-in 2019 Winners!

Google Code-in

Google's Code-in Contest Wrap up


Related Articles

Google Code-in 2019 Underway

Google Code-in Grows 

Google Code-in 2017 - An Epic Achievement

Record Breaking Google Code-in 2017

Google Code-in 2016 Progress Report

Google Code-in 2016 Underway

Google Code-in 2014 Announced


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 February 2020 )