What exactly is “Google Summer of Code” or GSoC? How do you apply for it and what is the eligibility criteria?

Google Summer Of Code [GSOC]

Answer by Ashish Kedia:

Website : Google Summer of Code 2015

Google Summer of Code is program to promote open-source development. It is organized by Google every summer since last decade. It runs for 12 weeks from mid May to Mid August. Students contribute to open-source repositories and get paid by Google in return. It's a great way to spend summer vacation.

You must be a student. That's it. No other criteria. Age, Country, Qualification – no criteria. If you have a student ID card, you are eligible.

Turns Out You have to be 18 years old for participating in GSOC !

Application Procedure
This is not a program where you fill up a form and get selected.

  • First, the interested open-source organizations apply. They are shortlisted by Google. The students will code for these organizations and the organization has to mentor the student. in GSoC 2014,  around 190 organizations were selected including the big organizations like Mozilla, KDE, etc. The list of organizations selected is announced around mid-February.
  • Every Organization had a Idea's Page or a Wiki Page in which they publish the list of possible projects. Some even have a to-do list. Students can browse through organizations and check out the projects. If they like any project they can contact the organization or the mentor itself via the organization's Mailing List. One can come up with his/her own project which is even better. Generally, each organization wants the student to show some background in the area of the project (fast learning abilities + keen interest is fine too), and familiarity with tools like version control system (Git Hub is the most popular). One has to demonstrate his/her skills which can be achieved by fixing some bugs. Generally there will be a list of known bugs/issues in a repository and some of them are really simple to fix. One can even try to find, report and then fix a new bug. One has to install that particular repository on their system, get comfortable with it and understand (at least the basics) what's going on. Past Open-Source Experience is a big plus although not necessary.
  • Student application period is between 1st to 3rd week of March. Once the student has demonstrated his/her abilities, they have to apply via Melange. They have to write a project proposal. This proposal should outline the project objectives, technical/implementation details, timeline and end deliveries. One can ask the concerned mentor to review his/her proposal before submitting. One student can submit up to 5 project proposals. However, at max only 1 project is assigned to each student.

On an average one has to devote at least 35 to 40 hrs each week during the summer for their GSoC Project.


  • In GSoC 2014 5500  USD were given to those who successfully completed their project.
  • Learning a lot – Working with large code bases, debugging, optimizing, testing profiling, tuning, fixing bugs, etc. You can learn a lot.
  • Work from Home – No office. No Attendance. No reporting. Work from anywhere, anytime.

Even if your proposal is rejected, you can still continue contribute to the repository. You will miss on the money, but it's fine. You will still learn a lot.

What exactly is "Google Summer of Code" or GSoC? How do you apply for it and what is the eligibility criteria?


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