It’s been over a month since I passed the evaluation of the last round of the coveted Google Summer of Code’19. I have to say that the experience of working on it during the summer was really great and I blindly will recommend any university student to try to participate in it. Before getting into my experience let’s first get you familiar to what it is.
Google Summer of Code is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students work with an open source organization on a 3 month programming project during their break from school.
Source: GSoC Website
Over the last 14 years GSoC has enabled more than 14,762 students from 109 countries to work with 651 open source projects and produce millions of lines of code since its inception in 2005.
The goals of the program are to:
- Motivate students to begin participating in open source development.
- Provide students in Computer Science and related fields the opportunity to do work related to their academic pursuits.
- Give students exposure to real-world software development scenarios (e.g., testing, version control, software licensing, mailing-list etiquette, etc.).
- Create more open source code.
- Help open source projects bring in new developers.
Working online, successful student participants receive a stipend, enabling them to focus on their programming projects for three months. Volunteer mentors help students plan their time, answer questions and provide guidance on best practices, project-specific tools, and community norms.
Students receive an invaluable learning experience, an introduction to the global FOSS community and something that potential employers love to see on their resume!
Source: GSoC’19 Brochure
My favourite part of GSoC
Aha!, hope you now have a slight understanding of what GSoC’19 is.
GSoC played an important role in encouraging me to explore and contribute to open source organisations. Well there is no one favourite part of GSoC but the whole experience is great. These are my favourite parts, the order loosely portray the importance:
- The impact I can make
- Contributing to an open source project is a privilege
- Meeting brilliant people from across the globe
I thank Google for making this program possible, and connecting people like me to beautiful organisations like Dbpedia Association.
The impact I can make: The most important part is being able to add your bit to the journey of great organisations like DBpedia in their endeavour to make information accessible to everyone. The project I work on is going to make a difference to every aspect of information retrieval from Linked data by humans. To such an extent that accessing data will be reminiscent of talking in your natural language to a simple device.
Contributing to an open source Project: I remember my hands were trembling with a lot of questions in my mind before I made my first pull request to DBpedia, the thrill and respect I have in mind for such massive open source organisations is huge. I feel privileged to be able to add another drop of water to this ocean of lines of codes that possess the ability to bring change.
Meeting brilliant people from across the globe: the mentors are really great. We have limited communication but the communication we manage to have is very fruitful. They are very knowledgeable and patient.
The immutability: The organisation I work for uses Github as VCS, I am still sometimes awe struck by the fact that the commit and pull requests that I make which when gets accepted and merged are gonna be there till eternity(Usually). This feeling fills me with joy: something like an immortality project.
What my mentors had to say!
My mentors and I had earlier decided that I will continue to work on the project and try to publish the findings that we were able to get as part of the GSoC period. But we had to change plans due to unavailability of time with me due to other commitments. I hope to continue contributing to the project in the coming times.
Well that’s pretty much it!