“I’m going to do something productive these vacations!”
How many times have we promised this to ourselves, but have actually yielded something fruitful? How many times have we had the sudden awakening, that dreadful moment of realisation as we look at the calendar that these vacations too, have passed in nothing but vanity and procrastination? How many of us promised to learn Python, Java, WebDev, AppDev and all those fancy names but ever completed an actual course, lest did something worthwhile after learning them? More often than not, we have ended up resorting to our “comfy blankies” with the AC on full blast and binge watching netflix, satisfying our egos by telling ourselves that we’re on vacation. Besides, we DID go through an intense grilling session throughout the entire semester, with all the deadlines and the pressure that we faced. We deserve this mini-hibernation period for ourselves to unwind, right?
Well, for people who actually want to do something in the vacations and get excited by the idea of being a part of some project, for people who are looking forward to finally getting an answer to the beloved question asked by every science student across our nation — “What’s the use of this in my life?!” Manipal University brings something to look up to, a summer of code!
Manipal University Summer of Code is a local program focused on involving more student developers with open source software development. Students work with a mentor on a 6 week programming project during their break from school. The grasshopper meets the sensei, in a small timeline of intense coding, hunting, troubleshooting, headbanging and a lot more in store for those who really want to code.
Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. So, the user can twist and bend the original program into something completely different, maybe even something better! And that’s the beauty of open source software, it can be used to achieve enormous goals or even a breakthrough. That’s why the OSS is a very important tool for the coding environment to strive and succeed.
Manipal University Summer of Code (MUSoC) is the brainchild of Google Developers Group (GDG) Manipal and Linux Users Group (LUG) Manipal, focused on enhancing the skills of budding student developers and giving them a taste of open source software development. It is an initiative taken for the students at Manipal University. Clearly, Manipal Institute of Technology(MIT) is not the only institute that comes under Manipal University, so why limit to that? Therefore, MUSoC is open to students of MU Jaipur as well!
The coding culture of MIT is not the very best. Although the faculty has taken some initiatives along with the students, there is still a void somewhere in the coding community, something missing, and MUSoC is here to fill the missing gap!
Under a team of highly skilled mentors with a (partially) good sense of humour, this event is meant as an exposure for students to open source software, to teach them how to experiment and play around with a bunch of code, for people who wanted to learn but didn’t know where to being and/or were directionless. With a plethora of projects made available to choose from, each student had access to a detailed description of every mentor’s projects, and the pre-requisites required, to create a proposal. There’s also a variety of different projects and different programming languages to choose from. From C to PHP to Image Processing, from a Braille OCR to a Biomedical X-ray Scanner, the Summer of Code’s motive is to present an array of projects for students to choose from as per their own objectives.
MUSoC is also meant to reveal the standards of coding to inquisitive students as well as preparing those who want to for the famous Google Summer of Code (GSoC).
GSoC is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students work with an open source organization on a 3 month programming project during their break from school. Students who actually make it big are showered with prizes and acclaimed for their time and effort, and it’s a HUGE thing on someone’s CV — something everyone wants to build up so they get somewhere in life, right?
The best part about MUSoC is that the mentors do not expect students to be a master of programming, that’s the whole point about this Summer of Code! They want students to be earnest in learning and they are ready to guide them even as a beginner. If you’ve got the will to work but don’t know where to start, you are a delight to these code-freaks! (No offence to anyone, these guys are great)
Overall, this is a big step which makes you dive right into coding. It might seem intimidating at first, but as time flows and you get more used to the environment, there’s only learning galore!
P.S. If nobody realised yet, the blurred pictures behind the stats are of butter chicken, credited to Avikant Saini.
“The numbers and the butter chicken aroma increases every day!” — Avikant Saini