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Table of contents
What is Google Summer of Code 
Goals of Google Summer of Code
Perks of Google Summer of Code
Beginner's guide to Open Source
Prerequisites for Google Summer of Code
Eligibility criteria for Google Summer of Code
How to get into Google Summer of Code
Making an impressive proposal for GSoC
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Google Summer Of Code

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Ashwin Goyal
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18 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


Are you interested in working with big tech companies? Are you looking for making your contributions on large scale projects of these big tech companies?

If yes, then Google Summer of Code is the best programme for you.

In this article, we will learn everything you need to know about Google Summer of Code. This article will tell you about the prerequisites and goals of Google Summer of Code. We will also learn about the exciting perks of Google Summer of Code.

Let us get into it.

What is Google Summer of Code 

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an online programme that recruits new contributors to open source software projects throughout the world. The programme began in 2005 and was aimed at attracting university students to open source till 2021. We have broadened the programme to accept any new open source contributors who are 18 years or older to apply as GSoC Contributors starting in 2022. These GSoC Contributors will write code and contribute to the open source communities while earning money. The organizations provide mentors who function as guides throughout the process, from learning about the community to assisting GSoC Contributors in becoming comfortable with the code base and testing methods, to finally releasing their code for public use! The ultimate goal is for these GSoC Contributors to get enthusiastic about the communities with which they interact during the programme and to continue actively contributing to those communities long after their GSoC programme has ended - or even to establish their own open-source project!

Accepted GSoC Contributors acquire real-world software development experience while working with mentors who will help them integrate into the community and grow as developers. Most crucially, more source code is written and shared for the benefit of all; all code generated as part of the programme is released under an open-source licence. How awesome is it that you get to write code that can be used by people all across the world?

GSoC has brought together 35,000 students and mentors from over 130 countries since its inception in 2005. As of November 2021, 746 open source projects from a variety of fields, including operating systems and community services, had signed up to be mentors for the programme. Successful students have stated that participating in GSoC made them more appealing to potential employers and that the programme considerably aided them in starting their technical careers. Many former students remain involved in GSoC by becoming mentors and assisting new contributors in learning about the fascinating projects their community is working on as well as the joy that comes with being a member of an open-source community of dedicated developers.

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Goals of Google Summer of Code

The GSoC programme has a number of objectives:

  • Encourage developers to get involved in open source development.
  • Assist open source projects in identifying and recruiting new contributors.
  • More open-source code should be produced and shared for everyone's benefit.
  • Provide more real-world software development experience to novice developers (for example, distributed development and version control, software licencing issues, testing, and communication best practices).

Perks of Google Summer of Code

Before discussing any further, let's know about the perks that GSoC offers so that you can get more motivation during your preparation.

  • The first and most obvious benefit is the opportunity to learn new things. You will have the opportunity to communicate with and be a part of an incredible community. Mentors and community members are experts in their professions, and having the chance to engage with them is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They may be able to provide you with recommendations or referrals that will aid in the development of your career path.
  • You'll get to work on a vast codebase with the most cutting-edge technology. Knowing that your code will be merged into the main codebase and utilized by thousands of other developers is a powerful motivator in and of itself. GSoC will greatly expand your skillset and provide you with a sense of success!
  • When looking for jobs, having the GSoC tag on your resume will offer you an advantage over other applicants. It demonstrates that you have some real-world software development experience.
  • For your efforts during GSoC, Google provides you with a very generous stipend. Check out the website for more information about the stipend. You'll also receive a cool t-shirt and some laptop stickers. Check out here for the swags.
  • Finally, you may have the opportunity to work with Google. Every GSoC participant has received a one-time reference for a possible Google job opportunity.

Beginner's guide to Open Source

Learning to program has never been easy. Despite the fact that there are various ways to learn how to code, trust me when I say that contributing to open-source projects is the best approach to increase your skills and abilities. For those who are unfamiliar with open-source, it is simply the act of writing code that others can freely use, change, and enhance.

GSoC, whether you are a GSoC aspirant or not, is one of the greatest ways to get started if you have no open-source expertise. First and foremost, you should decide on a programming language. After you have decided on a language, look for a project that aligns with your passions and interests. Since GitHub is the most popular site for open source collaboration, you'll almost certainly utilize it while learning about open source. To begin, you must first start an account on GitHub and read the ‘Getting Started’ page.

Many organizations exist where people collaborate on their favourite piece of technology in their spare time or as a full-time career! One of the best-curated listings of good open-source groups, in my opinion, is the GSoC archives. The simplest route would be to look at all of the organizations and select one just based on the type of final product that interests you. For the time being, ignore the technology stack. Once you've decided on an organization, look into it a little more. The majority of organizations provide some guidance on how to get started. Pay attention to the directions. You can always locate resources via a simple web search for extensive information about how something works. Learn the essential principles. You're all set to go. Fixing a simple bug or adding a simple feature is a good place to start. These initial steps are the most difficult and demand nothing more than determination and perseverance.

Developers follow their businesses' general standards and coding practices. As a result, when working on an Open Source project, one learns what "clean code" is and how to develop code that is easily readable and maintained. The primary motivations for a developer to contribute to an Open Source project are to gain familiarity, better their programming skills, and join a large community.

Prerequisites for Google Summer of Code

You require almost no skills for GSoC, just a lot of enthusiasm and dedication to reach your goal. Every project requires very different skills, and often, these are things you learn when you start working on a project rather than learn beforehand. Look out for projects that interest you first. Some organizations are very supportive and might entertain candidates with missing skills and help them gain expertise along with GSoC, and some organizations have a strict no spoon-feeding policy. Take “Appleseed” for example, and they require their candidates to have a basic knowledge of what they’ll be working on and can work independently during GSoC. Still, their community is very supportive and ready to clear doubts.

Apart from all this, I will recommend you to have some basic knowledge about a version control system; git is the most popular one. Having experience with git will decrease the friction and learning about the programming language, and the technology stack of your dream project will do wonders for you.

At last, don’t forget to check the eligibility criteria of GSoC before you start working on a project.

Eligibility criteria for Google Summer of Code

Below mentioned are the eligibility criteria of GSOC:

  • When you register, you must be at least 18 years old.
  • As of the date selected student proposals are published, you must be a full or part-time student (or have been admitted and committed to the fall term) at an authorized university. Working professionals are welcome to apply for GSoC 2022. (Link)
  • You must be able to work in the nation where you will be residing for the duration of the programme.
  • You have not previously been accepted into GSoC as a student.
  • You must live in a country that the US does not currently have an embargo on. For further information, see the Program Rules.


Check out the GSoC rules for further information on the eligibility requirements.

How to get into Google Summer of Code

The above question does not have a simple or proper solution, but let's look at some crucial areas where you should be in command.

  • Finding the correct project: Because you will be working on it for a long time, it is critical that you choose a project that you are passionate about. When you've narrowed down your favourite projects (from the GSoC pages of organizations), consider how competitive that project is. If two or more people have already begun working on your project, I will not encourage it.
  • Please contact the mentors using the following information: If there is a code of conduct, read it and contact the mentors. This could be done by email or their live chat service (SlackGitter, etc.). One thing to keep in mind is that you should never seek your mentors or the community for help without first doing some research. Do some Googling and try to dive into the code on your own if the community doesn't seem to provide getting started instructions. After you've done all of this, and you're stuck and ask them a question, don't forget to mention all of your research. This will demonstrate to them that you are willing to put out the effort.
  • Make a positive impression: You need to make the community sense your constant presence. Complete some tasks before the proposal deadline, and keep an eye out for new bugs or features. If you want to start contributing and don't sure where to begin, consider looking for beginner-friendly topics. These concerns are usually labelled as "beginning" or "good first". Check with the organization's administrators to see if it's still open and if you're able to work on it. If you identify a bug in the application, you can also open a new issue. Submit a ‘Pull Request’ with your code that solves the problem and request that the admins examine it. This is how you might begin to make others aware of your presence.
  • Make a good proposal: The project should be both ambitious and attainable. It wouldn't do just do anything insignificant, yet overcommitting will lead to failure in the future.
  • Take pleasure in coding: Open source development is aided mostly by the love of coding. Make sure you're talking with others and offering assistance when you can. GSoC is a fantastic programme!

Making an impressive proposal for GSoC

Begin as soon as possible! The sooner you begin working on your proposal, the better your chances of getting it accepted.

You can look at previous GSoC proposals that were accepted, contact former GSoCers, and ask them to share their proposals with you. That should give you a solid concept of what an excellent proposal should include. Make sure to express your thoughts about the project in a clear and straightforward manner. When appropriate, use visuals and flow charts. Instead of typing in a plain word document, choose a good template (not too decorative, but sober and straightforward). Discuss your educational background, professional experience, and past open-source contributions. List the abilities you have that are relevant to the project, as well as examples of your previous work in that industry. Give as much detail as feasible about your idea, as well as a detailed chronology. List any previous employment experience you've had with the organization you're interested in (if any). Give examples of why you are the best candidate for the job.

Always have your manuscript verified by someone you know who has a good command of the English language. Your mentors may come from English-speaking nations or speak English as a second or third language. You shouldn't use grammatically incorrect language here because your sentence could indicate something completely different. Use straightforward language. Don't try to be showy with your proposal by utilizing sophisticated terms, and avoid being repetitive.

Finally, submit your work and solicit feedback from your mentor. Make sure you talk to your mentor about your project. Change your proposal based on your mentor's suggestions.


1. What is open source?

Ans. The word "open source" initially related to open source software (OSS). Anyone can see, alter, and share open-source software, which is code that is supposed to be publicly accessible.

2. What is Google Summer of Code?

Ans. Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a worldwide online program that brings new contributors into open source software organizations.

3. What is the goal of Google Summer of Code?

Ans. Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a programme meant to bring new, enthusiastic contributors into open source communities, with the goal of them continuing to contribute even after their GSoC programme has ended.

4. Where does Google Summer of Code occur?

Ans. Google Summer of Code takes place entirely online, with no necessity for participants to travel as part of the programme.

5. Can I participate in GSOC as both a mentor and a GSOC contributor?

Ans. No, Mentors are persons who have worked in an open-source organization who want to use the GSoC programme to help the new contributors to their community. People who are new to an open-source organization are GSoC contributors.

Key Takeaways

In this article, we learned everything you need to know about Google Summer of Code. This article also told us about the prerequisites and goals of Google Summer of Code. We will also learn about the exciting perks of Google Summer of Code.

Apart from this, you can also expand your knowledge by referring to this roadmap here.

For more information, refer GSoC archive.

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