How I Got Selected for Google Summer of Code 2019

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Google Summer of Code

This year, I got my proposal selected for Google Summer of Code 2019. (You can find some details about my proposal here). Since I got the news that my proposal has been selected and I shared this info with people, I started getting three questions:

In this article, I’ll be addressing these questions one by one followed by some stuff to keep in mind when applying for GSoC.

What is Google Summer of Code?

I am really shocked that many students (at least from my university) are unaware of this program. So, here is the gist of GSoC.

Google Summer of Code is a program (exclusively for students) by Google that aims at introducing students to the world of Opensource software and contributing to it. Selected students will work (from home) on their projects for three months (Usually end of May to end of August). Students will be guided by mentors assigned for their projects by the organization they’ve been selected to work for. To motivate students to get the job done, Google provides students with a stipend (amount varies based on the country of the student’s university) that is paid in parts after evaluations that happen at the end of each month.

Also, GSoC is not an internship program. Selected students will take the role of “Student Developer” in their organization and not an “Intern”.

Note: Getting yourself selected for GSoC does not mean you’re an employee of Google.

What do I need to know to get selected for GSoC?

Each organization expects to know and/or have working knowledge in a few areas or concepts. These can be found in the organization’s page here.

There are a few things one can do to increase his chances of getting selected.

Will you help me with my proposal when I apply for GSoC next year?

The best help in drafting a proposal can the given by the community of the organization you’re applying for. Every organization’s community has an online communication medium. Usually, they are IRC, mailing lists, slack, etc. These communities usually have a channel dedicated for discussions on GSoC. Be active in the channel and find out how they expect your proposal to be. Generally, the mentors selected by the organization will be active in these channels. Identify the potential mentor for your project and interact with them. Discuss your proposal with them as they can provide really useful insights and help you with your proposal. They can also help you understand the problems better. Send them drafts of your proposal and correct it based on the feedback they provide.

A few tips

Once the timeline is release by GSoC, keep reminders for every step in the timeline. Google will send you emails for every step (except everything before student registration) but it is better it keep reminders in your personal devices.

Planning your work for writing the proposal. You can do this in 2 ways:

What if Gmail is not the email you regularly check? I personally use outlook for all my email purposes. but GSoC requires you to sign up using a Gmail account and all the info is sent to Gmail. You can either check that email regularly or you can set up email forwarding that will forward all emails to an email ID of your choice.

You have more than a month from the day the organizations are announced to the Deadline for proposal submission. Use most of this time to interact with the organization and its community. This will help a lot when drafting the proposal. Using the product of the organization that you plan to work for also helps.

If anyone else who has been accepted for GSoC this year or in the past is reading this article feels I’ve missed something important, please drop it in the comments and I’ll make sure I add it to this article.

Likes to talk about Machine Learning and plays the Harmonica

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