Google's coding internship summer program reaches 10th year

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What's new for Google's Summer of Code (GSoC) internship program this year? For one, GSoC accepted 190 mentoring organizations, which is more than any other year. The very first GSoC program began in the summer of 2005, so this year also marks another milestone—they're 10th year anniversary.

What is likely to remain the same this year is the overwhelming response from students from all over the world who want the chance to work on free and open source projects with mentoring organizations that Google has hand-picked. Carol Smith, Open Source Programs Manager at Google, tells us that to date GSoC students have helped generate over 50 million lines of open source code to date, from over 8,500 student developers.

Student application submissions open March 10 and close March 21.

If yearly trends continue, the number of proposals we can expect Google to see is upwards of 10,000. And with 190 mentoring organizations participating this year, I'll hazard a guess of around 1,300 students chosen to start the program in May.

For answers to a lot of the logistical questions, have a look at the GSoC FAQs, which includes the 2014 program timeline.

Hey, what are your plans for GSoC 2014?

I chatted with some of the mentoring organizations selected this year to find out what kinds of open source projects they have in mind for students to work on. Here's what they shared about their plans for GSoC 2014.


"The OpenStack Foundation has been selected as a Google Summer of Code mentoring organization for the first time. As a new participant, not only is OpenStack looking for students but also for project ideas and mentors. Those with an interest in participating in GSoC with OpenStack this summer should collaborate via the wiki and add their name and idea to the list, along with (of course) actually applying through Google if you are an interested student.

Several great ideas for OpenStack GSoC projects have already emerged, including:

You can also learn more about OpenStack's participation in Google Summer of Code by hanging out in #openstack-gsoc channel on"

visit their GSoC page

—Jason Baker, OpenStack Content Editor,


"The Joomla community is charged up for the 2014 iteration of Google Summer of Code. The project has put together a comprehensive ideas list which aims to focus on key aspects which improve one of the world’s most adopted content management systems.

In particular the community has ideas focused on aspects such as increasing accessibility and usability for users who are restricted due to physical limitations. In addition to this there are focuses on increasing Joomla’s overall performance by reducing bloated code and optimising queries to the database.

A bigger project takes Joomla’s internal development structure to the modern world by working to decrease the static factory design pattern with a much more decoupled dependency injection pattern. The developers in Joomla have been working hard to look to the standards set by other popular and ground-breaking PHP projects and we are pushing the CMS into the modern world by adopting some of these newer development patterns. The key sentiment in the Joomla developer world is modernize, decouple, refactor, and of course backwards compatibility when possible to maintain a stable but modern application.

The organizers of Joomla’s Google Summer of Code Program have big hopes and dreams for the success this year, and we hope to celebrate the year with our sibling Free Open Source organizations at the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit this fall."

visit their GSoC page

—Chad Windnagle, Google Summer of Code Co-Admin, Joomla!



"Python serves as a Google Summer of Code umbrella organization for around a dozen open source projects each year. This year, projects like CPython (core Python and the standard library), GNU Mailman, Mercurial, Scrapy, and Kivy are participating.

Participating in GSoC helps the Python community build its mentorship culture and keeps us honest about the quality of our documentation and support for new contributors."

visit their GSoC page

—Jessica McKellar, Director, Python Software Foundation


"We are excited that has been accepted as a mentoring organization in the 2014 Google Summer of Code! is a volunteer organization that seeks to advance the state of open source software on open source hardware platforms capable of running high-level languages and operation systems (primarily Linux) in embedded environments.

Last year, successfully mentored five students who improved upstream ADC IIO support, brought I2C support to Minix, brought Robot Operating System to new Linux distributions, enabled boot and flashing boards from Android phones, and created a project called Userspace Arduino that brings sketches to Linux. We’re looking forward to mentoring more innovative students with their projects this year.

We are looking forward to receiving contributions for improving the state of the Linux kernel; enabling simplified usage of the embedded real-time controllers; improving the BoneScript JavaScript library and web-based interface libraries; consolidating support for simplified home manufacturing, drones/bots, or other common tasks; optimizing the existing userspace applications and libraries, or other innovative personal project ideas that students are passionate about."

visit their GSoC page

Jason Kridner, Co-Founder,



"The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) has been participating in the Google Summer of Code since 2007. Our projects have covered almost everything that deals with georeferenced (location) data: from web mapping, image processing and digital cartography, to sophisticated spatial analysis, modeling, and visualization.

The ideas for GSoC projects often involve high priority tasks that can be implemented within a three month period by a student with sufficient programming and geospatial background. Although there is a limited number of project ideas where the familiarity with geospatial data is not essential, most projects require more than knowledge of a programming language.

Students considering an application with OSGeo GRASS GIS can browse the past students coding projects.The student for one of the 2011 projects has become a main GRASS GIS developer and thanks to her highly visible work she was accepted to NC State University to pursue her PhD at the NCSU College of Sciences."

visit their GSoC page

—Helena Mitasova, Associate Professor, NC State University



"We've participated in Google Summer of Code since 2006, and in the Outreach Program for Women since early 2013.

This year we'd like to get even better at getting every intern's project integrated into the main codebase and shipped to users by the end of the internship. We also want to continue our trend from previous years of increasing geographic diversity, gender diversity, and project diversity. For instance, with mobile apps as well as front- and back-end web development."

visit their GSoC page

Sumana Harihareswara, Engineering Community Manager, Wikimedia Foundation



"I am looking forward to welcoming new contributors to Visualization Toolkit (VTK) and seeing what they accomplish over the summer. We will be working with them on code that is open, reviewed, tested, and reproducible. Their contributions have the potential to impact a large array of scientific and medical domains by helping scientists, engineers, and others make sense of their data. We are very excited to take part in the tenth year of Google Summer of Code."

visit their GSoC page

—Marcus D. Hanwell, Technical Leader, Kitware



"We successfully mentored six students in our Systers, an Anita Borg Institute Community for the 2013 Google Summer of Code program (GSoC) and we couldn’t have been more thrilled. We had great mentors and great students which made it exciting and an incredible learning experience.

This year, we want to step up our game in recognition of GSoC’s 10 year anniversary, but we also wanted to bring various projects to the students as well. Our organizational administrators, Ana Cutillas, Nicki Hutchen, and Rose Robinson (me), wanted variety in the technologies and programming languages as well as how can we help #changetheratio and #changetheworld at the same time. What better way to do this by partnering with Peace Corps!

This year, Systers GSoC 2014 program will work on four open source projects for Peace Corps.

Projects include:

  • RealTrack: Android and iOS mobile applications
  • Picture language translation (Ruby on Rails)
  • Ushahidi crowdsourcing platform
  • Malaria Prevention

What’s interesting about these projects is that students and mentors will have an opportunity to work with Peace Corps Volunteers out in the field (Azerbaijan, Micronesia, and other locations) who really need these projects to help them in their efforts to affect change in local communities they are assigned. When they heard we were on board with helping with these projects, they were really excited. These projects will help Peace Corp volunteers in ways that they can truly make an impact in a lot of the work they do in the field. What’s also great is we have some creative prowess in these projects making it that much more challenging and exciting. Additionally, since Peace Corps uses GitHub as their version control software, students will gain valuable experience in version control software.

Additional GSoC projects:

  • Systers portal project (Python/Django)
  • Automated testing (Java/Selenium)
  • Porting Systers customized features into Mailman 3.0 (Python)

We have additional projects that are core for our Systers community like Mailman as we have built customized version of our Mailman which we use. Porting our features into future release of Mailman 3.0 is exciting in itself because of the technologies in Mailman 3.0 like HyperKitty. Last year the students took to this work like a magnet and found it challenging.

These projects bring a different flavor for not only the students, but the mentors as well. We have many Systers that have skills in various programming languages, technologies, research, management, and much more. We are lining up some great mentors and will be posted soon. Our mentors have proven to be very instrumental in guiding our students and at the same time, everyone has fun. We are super excited about helping young women who want to learn or better their coding skills, helping Peace Corps and volunteers, and helping our community “pass on” the benefits of being a Syster.

visit their GSoC page

—Rose Robinson, Her Systers’ Keeper, Systers



"The TYPO3 project has been accepted for the fifth time this year for the Google Summer of Code. Students participating in the project do not necessarily have to have deep knowledge of TYPO3. Participating in the project can also serve as an introduction.

The TYPO3 project asks for submission of ideas and for mentors coming from the community. The scope of the submitted idea should be limited to be achievable within the limited time-frame of three months. As a project we hope to involve more people and especially attract more diversity to the project and vice-versa to let the world know about our project.

We usually get a lot of applications from countries in Eastern Europe and from Asia, mainly India. The success factor in participating the GsoC project lies in getting to know another project and the community belonging to it. Completing a module or certain functionality is secondary for us. There are definitely a good number of ideas we can use as a basis to develop further."

visit their GSoC page

—Ben van 't Ende, Community Manager, TYPO3


Did you know?

GNOME Outreach Program for Women

"The Outreach Program for Women (OPW) was started by the GNOME Foundation because there were very few women applying for Google Summer of Code with GNOME. The program offers internship opportunities, similar to the ones offered by GSoC, to women (cis and trans) and genderqueer. Unlike in GSoC, participants do not need to be students and non-coding projects are available. In addition to coding, projects include such tasks as graphic design, user experience design, documentation, bug triage, and community engagement.

GNOME, the Linux kernel, Python, the Open Technology Institute, and Wikimedia are some of the organizations offering internships in the upcoming round, which has similar program dates to Google Summer of Code. Some organizations are taking part in both programs. By running the two programs in parallel, we are able to encourage more women who are students and coders to apply for Google Summer of Code. Thanks to this effort, as well as other efforts in the community and by the Google team, the participation of women in Google Summer of Code is steadily growing, with women representing 9.5% of the participants last year. We expect the number this year to rise further."

—Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Community Engagement Lead at Red Hat and Coordinator of the Outreach Program for Women

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Jen leads a team of community managers for the Digital Communities team at Red Hat. She lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughters, June and Jewel.

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