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From Zero to Hero: An Ultimate Guide to Acing Google Summer of Code

Are you a passionate and motivated programmer looking for an opportunity to gain valuable experience further your coding skills, and chime into open source? Then Google Summer of Code (GSoC) could be the perfect opportunity for you! GSoC is an annual program that gives students from all over the world the chance to work with open source organizations to develop new software. Hello 👋 fellow devs, Nomadev is back with another article. This blog post will provide an overview of the GSoC program, and tips for successfully applying for and completing a GSoC project.

What is GSoC ??

GSoC is a great opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience with open source development. It allows students to collaborate with mentors from the organization and other students who are also working on the same project. During the program, students are provided with a stipend to cover expenses, and they can also earn a one-time bonus at the end of the program.

Prior students had to be at least 18 years old, enrolled in a university or college, and eligible to participate. However, as of last year, this criteria is no longer in place. They must also have a good knowledge of the programming language and tools associated with the organization they are applying to. Furthermore, there are certain criteria for project proposals that must be met before they can be accepted.

During GSoC, the organization will assign a mentor to each student to help them with their project. Mentors provide guidance, answer questions, review code, and offer feedback. The mentor will also ensure that the student is on track to complete their project on time and within the guidelines set by the organization.

At the end of the program, students are required to submit their project code to the organization and participate in a final evaluation to demonstrate their project and receive feedback from the organization. If the student is successful, they will receive a certificate of completion and a cash bonus.

GSoC is a great way for students to get involved in open source development and to gain valuable experience. It also provides a great opportunity to learn from experienced mentors and to collaborate with other students.

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How to Choose an Organisation ??

Finding out your abilities, your professional interests, and what you hope to gain from the GSoC are the first steps in selecting an organisation.

You can check the list of organisations from the previous year that were accepted after finding all of these questions at GSoC Archive. It's usually preferable to use tags to filter out organisations according to your talents and interests.

Without confusing you more I will just give you 10 easy steps:

1. Identify your areas of interest and expertise. Start by looking at open-source organizations that are doing work related to your field.

2. Research the organization’s past GSoC projects and participation. Check the GSoC website to see what projects the organization has participated in, and look for detailed reports about their experience.

3. Reach out to the organization. Contact them directly with your questions and ideas.

4. Assess the organization’s overall commitment to GSoC. How many mentors do they have? What is the general attitude towards GSoC?

5. Look for organizations that are willing to provide you with a mentor. This can help ensure that you have a successful GSoC experience.

6.Consider the organization’s size and reach. Larger organizations may have more resources and visibility, while smaller organizations may provide you with more individual attention and guidance.

7. Check out the organization’s GitHub or other code repositories to get a feel for their development practices.

8. Find out if the organization has a presence on social media or other forums where you can interact with members of the community.

9. Read any available documentation about the organization’s development process.

10. Ask other GSoC participants about their experience with the organization.

⭐ Take a note from my side on point #4 - Don't Spam their primary communication channel by just pasting your introduction template there, Get a quick overview of what the organisation does before joining their IRC or Slack channel to convince them that you are truly passionate about participating and have already done some research on their your behalf.

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Improving Your Chances of Selection

To increase your chances of selection for Google Summer of Code (GSoC), you should start by familiarizing yourself with the program and its requirements. Make sure you read through the GSoC Overview page and understand what the program entails. Additionally, you should look through the list of accepted projects and organizations from previous years to get a better idea of what kind of projects have been successfully completed.

Some points to improve your Chances to Selection

1. Start Early: Start working on your proposal and project ideas as early as possible. This will give you plenty of time to get feedback from mentors and refine your application.

2. Be Passionate: Demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for the project you are applying for. Show how you are the best candidate for the position by providing examples of previous work that you’ve done.

3. Get to Know the Community: Get involved in the open source community that you are applying to. Participate in discussion forums, answer questions, and make contributions to the project. This will show that you are familiar with the project and its needs.

4. Take Initiative: Show that you are a self-starter by presenting ideas for your project and demonstrating how you will tackle them.

5. Show Your Skillset: Make sure to demonstrate the skills that you have that make you a great candidate for the project.

6. Follow Directions: Make sure to follow all of the instructions outlined for your proposal. Make sure that your proposal is written in a clear and concise manner.

7. Get Feedback: Get feedback from mentors and peers on your proposal and project ideas. This will help you refine your application and make it.

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Perks for Participation

1. Learning and Skills Development: Through GSoC, participants have the opportunity to work with mentors and other experienced developers from their chosen organization. This provides them with an opportunity to learn from the experts and hone their skills. Additionally, GSoC also provides participants with the opportunity to learn about new technologies and gain a deeper understanding of open source software development.

2. Financial Benefits: Participants are provided with a stipend ranging from USD 1500 to USD 3000 to complete their projects. This money can be used to cover the expenses related to their project, such as travel and other resources.

3. Professional Development: Participating in GSoC can help participants to develop their professional skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and team work. They also get the chance to network with other developers and build relationships with potential employers.

4. Sense of Accomplishment: GSoC gives participants the feeling of accomplishment when they complete their projects. This can be a great motivation to keep participating in the program and working on more projects.

In conclusion, GSoC can provide participants with a wide range of benefits, such as financial rewards, learning and skills development, professional development, and a sense of accomplishment. All of these benefits can help participants to further their career and become better developers.

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Large Size Projects vs Small Size Projects

GSoC sponsored by Google and open to all students aged 18 or over. Projects can range from small (1-3 month) to large (6-9 month) projects in scope.

Large-Size Projects:

Large-size projects are typically multi-faceted and require a significant amount of work. Students work on these projects over the course of the June to November, making sure to meet the project requirements and deadlines set by the organization. These projects often require the student to work with a variety of technologies and platforms in order to complete the project. These projects may also require more in-depth research and analysis into the project’s subject matter. Large-size projects may also require more frequent interactions with the organization’s mentors and other project members.

Small-Size Projects:

Small-size projects are typically single-faceted and require less work. These projects are typically completed within the summer and require less interaction with the organization’s mentors and other project members. These projects are generally less complex and may not require as much research or analysis.

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How to make your Proposal ??

Your entire application is really a project proposal. It should include a thorough explanation of your project, including deliverables and a timeframe, as well as information about adjacent projects, your biography, and other things. The Elements of a Quality Proposal provides the fundamental standards, however companies should typically publish their own specifications for project proposals.

1. Research the organization: Before submitting a proposal, it is important to thoroughly research the organization that you are applying to. Learn about their mission, vision, and values, and make sure that your proposal aligns with them. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the organization’s open source projects and the community of developers that work on them.

2. Think of an innovative project: Once you have done your research, it is time to start brainstorming a project idea. Think about the skills you have, and try to come up with a unique project that will benefit the organization and its users.

3. Write a proposal: After you have settled on a project idea, it is time to write the proposal. Make sure to include an introduction, a description of the project, a timeline, and a list of deliverables. You should also include a section on why you are the ideal candidate for the project.

4. Submit the proposal: Once your proposal is complete, submit it to the organization. Make sure to double-check your proposal for any errors or typos, and follow any instructions provided by the organization.

5. Follow up: After submitting the proposal, make sure to follow up with the organization. Send a polite reminder email if you have not heard back within a reasonable time frame.
It’s important to stay in touch with the organization throughout the application process. This will help you stay informed of any updates or changes to the project and will demonstrate your commitment to the project.

👉 For your reference for making a proposal visit this

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What will I get out of it?

  • You'll join a community of open source developers. Following GSoC, many students continue to work on their projects and become involved open source contributors.

  • Your ability to communicate and programme will significantly improve in just one summer. A truly exceptional learning opportunity is provided by GSoC.

  • You'll expand your professional network, get to know some of the best experts in the area, study with outstanding professors, and make wonderful friends from all over the world. Members of your community may offer you a job, ask you to an internship, or give you the opportunity to present your work at a conference and write a paper on it.

  • Google will provide you with a stipend. The amount of the stipend is determined by the nation of origin.. To learn more about how they are paid and how much money is stipend overall for students from your nation, visit the article about student stipends.

  • Being a successful GSoC student is an honorable accomplishment that will enhance your career considerably.

References & Useful Links

Important The purpose of the GSoC is to encourage student developers to contribute to open source, thus don't just focus on the GSoC target contributing to open source. You risk failure if you simply focus on GSoC. Open source is like a family, so chime in and offer your support however you can. Participate, perform good job, and try to support the organisation &  GSoC is no far.

I'll leave it at that, developers. I'll speak with you again soon and have additional information for you.

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Top comments (5)

teejay128 profile image
Joseph Taiwo

Very informative read 💪

I am still new to the world of open source, and was wondering if I would be able to participate as someone with no experience, of course I will use the time until GSOC starts to sharpen my open-source skills, also curious to know if you are past participant, if so I would like to learn more from you 🤲🙏

thenomadevel profile image

Yes, absolutely! Open source projects welcome contributors of all experience levels. The best way to get started is to find an issue related to the project that you're interested in and try to solve it. You can also look for events related to the project (like hackathons or meetups) and attend them. And yes I am a past GSoC participant

sandeepadevin profile image

I'm a working professional for about 2years, I'm not sure whether I'm eligible for do gsoc. Do the support on platforms like stackoverflow considered to be a open-source contribution?

thenomadevel profile image

Yeah Ofc, From last year it is open for all. Your experience and skills could be valuable assets to an open-source project.

Twitter is a great place where you can chime into GSoC. You can Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram as I also use to help people to getting into Open Source and Providing mentorship for them to conquer GSoC.

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alpha1zln profile image