Google Summer of Code or Outreachy
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 03 February 2021

It's the time of year when Open Source projects can sign up for the summer internship programs that bring together those wanting to spend the summer months coding with the projects that can provide monitoring and interesting tasks to work on.

A change announced last October for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is that Google has reduced both the size of the projects and the time commitment students are expected to spend on their projects. Starting in 2021, students will be focused on a 175-hour project over a 10-week coding period. In line with these new expectations the stipends awarded to participants have also been halved. 

The eligibility criteria for student participation in GSoC 2021 has been widened to include "licensed coding school, etc." So it is now open to students 18 years and older who are: 

  1. Enrolled in post-secondary academic programs (including college, university, masters program, PhD program and/or undergraduate program, or licensed coding school, etc.) as of May 17, 2021; or,
  2. Have graduated from a post-secondary academic program between December 1, 2020 and May 17, 2021.

We've covered Google Summer of Code on a regular basis so if you want to know more see, Getting Ready For Google Summer of Code 2020 or another of our previous articles.


One alternative for Open Source organizations is Outreachy. Like GSoC it  is a paid, remote internship program, and although it too is well-established, with the aim of helping newcomers to free software and open source make their first contributions, we've never covered it before.

According to its own blurb:

Outreachy provides internships to work open source. People apply from all around the world. Interns work remotely, and are not required to move. Interns are paid a stipend of $5,500 USD for the three-month internship. 

The main distinguishing feature of Outreachy is that it aims to increase diversity in open source by supporting people from groups underrepresented in tech, in particular women, as its statistics for 2019 indicate:


According to its website:

Outreachy expressly invites women (both cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people to apply. We also expressly invite applications from residents and nationals of the United States of any gender who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.

In its information for potential mentoring organizations Outreachy notes:

Interns could be university students, code school graduates, people switching careers, or people coming back to tech after starting a family or another long absence. Most Outreachy interns already have some exposure to using FOSS and technical knowledge, but many of them have not contributed to FOSS communities before.

As is the case with GSoC, Outreachy interns work, remotely, with experienced mentors from open source communities. The tasks they perform are not confined to programming and may include user experience, documentation, illustration, graphical design, or data science. 

Community sign up for mentoring organizations for Outreachy Summer 2021 is open until March 1st for new communities and March 7th for existing mentors to submit projects. Participant applications opened on February 1st and the deadline is February 22nd.For more information join the #OutreachyChat on Twitter on February 8th.

Meanwhile the GSoC Organization Application Deadline is February 19th and the Student Application Period runs from March 29th to April 13th. 



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Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 September 2021 )