Google Summer of Code : It Begins

May 18 2014

It had been a tiring semester, in every sense of the word. The weather was hot and humid; made even more so by the uphill climbs one had to endure to reach either food or class.

Then there was the change in the evaluation system. Continuous, “surprise” tests, that could happen any day. Us poor kids were deprived of even the basic right to skip classes. Oh, the monstrosity.

And then there was GSoC. The coveted, open source initiative. What student did not want that? There were PhD students applying for it in some cases. My, a first year engineering student’s, chances were bleak, to state it politely. Yet, I was adamant. I had to do it. Or at least, give it my best shot.

Google Summer of Code, or GSoC as it is called, is an initiative by Google to increase contribution to open source projects through paid summer internships to competent students. Students apply to selected organisations, their applications get evaluated, and the selected ones get to work on a project of their choice under the guidance of mentors the organisation assigns to them.

Oh, and they get paid for it!

This is a win win situation for every party. The students get paid for writing code, which contributes to the codebase of the organisation, in turn a contribution to open source. The organisations also get paid, albeit sparsely. The focal point of the whole process being that open source projects get traction and students get a great opportunity to learn more about professional software development processes.

And it was this learning experience which I desired. I always had a knack for computers and since the first time I had laid hands on my brother’s book on QBASIC, I knew I had to have a career in computer science. And this would have been a major step forward towards that goal.

So I worked through the heat and the ever-impending surprise tests. Sort of. Slightly messing up my internal marks in the process. But it was all going to be worth it, as I would come to know later.

I had chosen two organisations: JBoss and Mifos. [I would later do an introductory post on each of them, as I got to know them quite well in the process.] I had expected that if I got selected, it would have been for Mifos, as I had been more active on their developer community and had –hopefully- committed more meaningfully than I had contributed to JBoss ShrinkWrap. Mostly because ShrinkWrap is kind of a helper project for the more prominent Arquillian, and is handled by only half a dozen or so developers, so there is less “noise” in the community and I did not have much to do.

So it came as a surprise to me when I checked the accepted students page on Melange that I had been selected for

ShrinkWrap. But Yay! I got selected! And that is how it started.


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