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GSoC'19 | What, Why and How?

Anand Anand Follow Jan 12, 2020 · 3 mins read
GSoC'19 | What, Why and How?
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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


How to apply can be found here : How it works?

Let’s first understand something that is very important, GSoC is not an internship at Google. GSoC is something different and rather more fascinating:

It is an opportunity to work for an open source organization for around 4 months, evolve as a developer and experience the power of a community driven project. It’s about meeting amazing people from all corners of the world.

Before getting into how, let me make a few things clear:

  • Be honest in your proposals.
  • Work for organisations whose ideas you really believe in.
  • If you are selected, the only thing you need to do is: Reach all milestones on time, as per your proposal. Stick to it till you finish all the tasks in it.

About applying

I will make it short and simple here :

  • Go through all the organisations after the next year’s GSoC is announced.
  • Select around 10-20 organisations , whose idea interests you.
  • From the selected organisations, see their track record and calculate the probable chances that it will be there in the next year’s GSoC.
  • Now go through the idea page of each of the organisations. Based on what you know and what is aligned with your interests. Select a few organisations from the selected 10-20 organisations, let’s say 5.
  • Become a part of the public communication system of these organisations. Go through the idea related repositories of these 5 organisations and try to understand what’s going on there.
  • Understand the code and interact with the developers.
  • Based on the kind of response you get from the above organisations - further select one or two organisations.
  • Try to fix small issues in these repositories.
  • When the organisation for the next GSoC period is announced check which among your selected organisation is present that year.
  • Write a very detailed proposal (not lengthy) and send it to corresponding idea mentors for review. Make changes based on their suggestions.
  • Submit the proposal(s).


Written by Anand Follow
Philosopher, reader, listener and explorer.