Spend the upcoming summer coding with a purpose on Google Summer of Code.
You surely have heard of Google Summer of Code, an international annual program in which Google introduces students to open source software development and helps them spend their summer break in a productive way 🙂 . You haven’t? Well, it’s high time to change it! Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a unique chance to gain professional experience in developing a project which will be actually used by people all around the world.
As it can be concluded from the name, the program takes place every summer (from June to August). During these months, students work with one of the several open-source, free software and technology-related organizations on open source projects. The organizations, carefully selected prior to the start of the program, perform the roles of the so-called ‘mentors”. They help students plan their time effectively, they answer numerous questions and provide guidance, coaching, and invaluable support. Students benefit from the program in many more ways than just writing code for their “mentor” – they get to know real-world software development scenarios and gain experience that will look great on their CV ;). Also, while becoming part of open source communities, they make some money along the way. And by “some” we mean from $3000 to $6600 – this is the amount of a stipend that successful GSoC applicants get. It sounds sufficiently convincing, doesn’t it?
A little bit of history
The first edition of Google Summer of Code took place in 2005 – back then, its goal was simple: helping students master their programming skills and find a paid occupation during their summer break. Over the last 16 years, the GSoC program has grown impressively, encouraging students make the most of their holidays by working on exciting open source projects. So far, participants of Google Summer of Code have come from over 118 countries of the world, including Poland. In fact, there are a few dozen of Polish students taking part in the program every year – with the exception of 2018, when there were only 3 participants from Poland accepted. But, as they say, exceptions only prove the rule. And the rule is that Google Summer of Code attracts more and more student developers year by year.
How to apply
If you want to be one of them and take your programming and communication skills to a whole new level, we really advise you to take your chance and apply for GSoC. From March 29 to April 13, 2021 students can register and submit their applications via https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/. What you have to do when applying is to, first of all, choose a mentoring organization. Each organization is required to submit a list of ideas for projects and each project has a mentor assigned to it and the list of preferred skills. Choose the one that appeals to you the most and write your project proposal – it is going to be your application. Generally speaking, if you are interested in open-source projects and you can generate good ideas making the software more valuable for its users, then Google Summer of Code may be a great way for you to showcase your skill.
Especially, as the list of mentoring organizations and their projects is impressively long – and it is growing every year. In the GSoC 2021edition, there are 202 open source organizations accepted, among which 31 are new to the program. Projects cover a wide range of fields, such as: Cloud, Data and Databases, Operating Systems, Programming Languages and Development Tools, End Users Applications, Science and Medicine, Security and many more. If you can’t decide on any, simply choose the category you’re most interested in and by doing so, narrow the results in the GSoC website search engine. And then, simply trust your heart 🙂 . What do we mean by that? Well, try not to focus only on the best-known organizations. Think carefully what subjects you feel most comfortable with and what areas you want to prove yourself in.
Transforming health services with OpenMRS
If you ask us, we strongly recommend you to apply to OpenMRS. It is an open-source medical record system framework for developing countries. Until now, the system has been implemented in many developing countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Lesotho, Uganda, Tanzania, Haiti, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and India. OpenMRS motto is simple and powerful: “Write code. Save lives” – and they really put it into action, helping over 9 million patients all over the world. Whenever internet connectivity is limited or broken, OpenMRS is a tool that keeps health workers connected and their patient’s health records up-to-date. As a result, health systems can now address diseases outbreaks faster and provide more efficient health services. In the current COVID-19 reality, such solutions are even more important than ever before. Here you can see OpenMRS projects delivered by students in the previous Google Summer of Code edition: https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/archive/2020/organizations/6119294959616000/#projects
SolDevelo Impact Foundation
OpenMRS is one of the most important partners of our SolDevelo Social Impact Foundation, created to use technological knowledge to change the world for the better. Since 2018, we have been connecting the IT industry with marketing, public relations and community building. We promote the idea of “open source” and share our knowledge with everyone who needs it: we prepare educational materials for organizations, participate in events and create software that we make available for free. Open source medical projects are particularly important to us, which is why we strongly support the ideas spread by OpenMRS. We are happy when the necessary help reaches new areas and people in need around the world.
If you want to improve your programming and coding skills, and at the same time make your contribution to the great project that changes the lives of many people around the globe – sign up for Google Summer of Code 2021 and choose OpenMRS as your mentoring organization.
In case of any doubts, contact us at [email protected]. We’ll be happy to answer your questions!
To find out more about GSoC you can also look here.