Google Summer of Code

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The Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an annual program, first held from May to August 2005,[1] in which Google awards stipends to hundreds of students who successfully complete a requested free software / open-source coding project during the summer. The program is open to students aged 18 or over – the closely related Google Highly Open Participation Contest is intended for students under the age of 18.

The event draws its name from the 1967 Summer of Love (of the Sixties counterculture),[1] and the idea for the SoC came directly from Google's founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page[1]. The program manager is Leslie Hawthorn[2] who has been involved in the project since 2006 and managed it since 2007.



The program invites students who meet their eligibility criteria to post applications that detail the software-coding project they wish to perform. These applications are then evaluated by the corresponding mentoring organization. Every participating organization must provide mentors for each of the project ideas received, if the organization is of the opinion that the project would benefit from them. The mentors then rank the applications and submit the ranked list to Google. Google then decides how many projects each organization gets, and selects the top-n applications for that organization, where n is the number of projects assigned to them.

In the event of a single student being present in the top-n of more than one organization, Google mediates between all the involved organizations and decides who "gets" that student. The slots freed up on the other mentoring organization are passed to the next-best ranked application in that pile.



In 2005, more than 8,740 project proposals were submitted for the 200 available student positions[1]. Due to the overwhelming response, Google expanded the program to 419 positions.

The mentoring organizations were responsible for reviewing and selecting proposals, and then providing guidance to those students to help them complete their proposal. Students that successfully completed their proposal to the satisfaction of their mentoring organization were awarded $4500 and a Google Summer of Code T-shirt, while $500 per project was sent to the mentoring organization[1]. Approximately 80% of the projects were successfully completed in 2005, although completion rates varied by organization: Ubuntu, for example, reported a completion rate of only 64%, and KDE reported a 67% completion rate[1]. Many projects were continued past summer, even though the SOC period was over, and some changed direction as they developed[1].

For the first Summer of Code, Google was criticized for not giving sufficient time to open source organizations so they could plan projects for the Summer of Code. Despite these criticisms there were 41 organizations involved,[1] including FreeBSD, Apache, KDE, Ubuntu, Blender, Mozdev, and Google itself.

Also, a majority of the projects initiated by participants at the 2005 SoC stalled immediately afterward.[citation needed] According to a blog post by Chris DiBona, Google's open source program manager, "something like 30 percent of the students stuck with their groups past SoC [Summer of Code]." Mozilla developer Gervase Markham also commented that none of the 10 Google-sponsored Mozilla projects survived after the event[3]. However, the Gaim (now Pidgin) project was able to enlist enough coding support through the event to include the changes into Gaim (now Pidgin) 2.0; the Jabber Software Foundation (now XMPP Standards Foundation) and KDE project also counted a few surviving projects of their own from the event (KDE only counted 1 continuing project from out of the 24 projects[1] which it sponsored).


In 2006, around 6000 applications were submitted, less than the previous year because all applicants were required to have Google Accounts, thereby reducing the amount of spam applications received. Google and most mentors are also of the opinion that the proposals were of much higher quality than 2005's applications. Also, the number of participating organizations almost tripled to 102. In addition to the organizations that participated in 2005, organizations such as Debian, GNU, Gentoo, Adium and PHP participated in 2006. Google had decided to sponsor around 600 projects.

The student application deadline was extended until 2006-05-09, at 11:00 PDT. Although the results were to be declared by 5:00 PM PDT, there was considerable delay in publishing it as Google had not expected several students to be selected in more than one organization. Google allows one student to undertake only one project as part of the program. It took Google several hours to resolve the duplicate acceptances. The acceptance letters were sent out on May 24, at 3:13 AM PDT, but the letters were also sent out to some 1,600 applicants who had in fact, not been accepted by Google's SoC committee. At 3:38 AM PDT, Chris DiBona posted an apology to the official mailing list, adding that "We're very deeply sorry for this. If you received two e-mails, one that said you were accepted and one that you were not, this means you were not."

Google has released a final list of projects accepted into the program on the SoC website. The proposals themselves were visible to the public for a few hours, after which they were taken down in response to complaints by the participants about the "sensitive and private" information that their applications contained. However, Google has since resolved these issues by allowing each student involved in Summer of Code to provide a brief abstract message that is publicly viewable and completely separate from the content of the actual proposal that was submitted to Google.

The Summer of Code 2006 ended on 2006-09-08. According to Google, 82% of the students received a positive evaluation at the end of the program.


In 2007, Google accepted 131 organizations[4] and over 900 students. Those 131 organizations had a total of nearly 1500 mentors[5].

Students were allowed to submit up to 20 applications[6] although only one could be accepted. Google received nearly 6,200 applications.

To allow more students to apply, Google extended the application deadline from March 24 to March 26[7] at the last minute. It was then extended again to March 27[8].

On April 11, the acceptance letters were delayed due to additional efforts involved in resolving duplicate submissions. At one point, the web interface changed each application to have a status of Not Selected. Google officials reported that only the acceptance email was the definitive indication of acceptance.[citation needed]


In 2008, Google chose 174 open source organizations to participate in Summer of Code, greatly increased from 136 the year before and 102 in 2006. Each organization was chosen based on a number of criteria, such as the virtue of the projects, the ideas given for students to work on, and the ability of the mentors to ensure students successfully completed projects. Nearly 7100 proposals were received for the 2008 Summer of Code, of which 1125 were selected.



External links

ca:Google Summer of Code

cs:Google Summer of Code de:Google Summer of Code es:Google Summer of Code fr:Google Summer of Code ja:Google Summer of Code pl:Google Summer of Code pt:Google Summer of Code ru:Google Summer of Code uk:Google Summer of Code vi:Google Summer of Code zh:Google夏日程式碼大賽

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