Get Ready For Google Summer Of Code 2022
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 08 March 2022

There's a new website for Google Summer of Code this year - to take account of its extended remit. GSoC is no longer just for students which means that anyone18 year old and older with spare time this summer who wants to get involved with open source software development can apply to the program to become a contributor. 

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Google has just announced that, having reviewed 350 applications, 203 mentoring organizations have been selected for GSoc 2022, 32 of them newcomers to the program. The full list can be found heregsocorgs2022

Competition is likely to be equally strong for contributors so even though the application period isn't until next month now is the time to start work on your applications - especially if you are a first-timer. Stephanie Taylor, writing on the Google Open Source blog has advice, which I've heavily annotated: 

  • Watch What is GSoC? and Being a GSoC Contributor.
    These videos date from 2017 and 2018 respectively, so don't be put off by the word "student".You no longer have to have that status, although the timing of participation (mid May until mid September if you count the Community bonding period that takes place before coding begins) does make it convenient for Students.
  • Check out the newly redrafted Contributor Guide and Advice for Applying to GSoC doc - and take special note of its final point printed in caps: DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO APPLY
  • Review the list of accepted organizations and find two to four that interest you and read through their Project Ideas lists. The mentoring organizations have been chosen partly on the basis of the quality of their project ideas, but if you do have an idea of your own that you want to pursue most organizations will be open to considering it - as long as you take the right approach and contact them in the way suggest.
  • When you see an idea that piques your interest, reach out to the organization via their preferred communication methods (listed on their org page on the GSoC program site). Remember that lots of other would-be contributors will be vying for the obviously attractive projects. Do sell yourself when you make initial contact - do you have specialist knowledge or relevant expertise
  • Talk with the mentors and community to determine if this project idea is something you would enjoy working on during the program. Find a project that motivates you, otherwise it may be a challenging summer for you and your mentor.
    This is also an opportunity to see how easy it is to get along with a mentor. Finding somebody you can communicate well with is likely to be key to the success of the project. Also as GSoC aims to forge lasting relationships between new contributors and open source communities this is a chance to test how welcoming different organizations are.
  • Use the information you received during your communications with the mentors and other org community members to write up your proposal. Before you start to write discover what information is required by the organization concerned - there may even be a template you can use, like the one provided by the Linux Foundation.  

As well as expanding the scheme to non-students this year there are two project sizes - 175 hour projects and 350 hour projects - and flexibility over the coding period dates in that it can be extended to 22 weeks by agreement between mentor and contributor. This provides some leeway for interruptions like exams, trips, sickness, different dates of mid-year break. It also gives more people the chance to be able to participate, which is of course Google's rationale for being so accommodating.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 March 2022 )