The 10th anniversary of GSoC ‘Decade of GSoC’ was celebrated at the University of Moratuwa on the 23rd of January 2014 with the participation of Chris DiBona, Director Open Source and Out Reach at Google, Program Managers Stephany Tailor and Mary Radmiol. Ananda Jayawardhana, Vice Chancellor of University of Moratuwa and many Sri Lankan distinguish guests also participated.
Chris DiBona said that he was offered to go to europe to celebrate GSoCs’ 10th year but he chose to come to Sri Lanka. Chris recalled where things have begun 10 years ago. He came up with the idea of Google Summer of Code Program in 2004. Out of 6000 applications for the 1st ever GSoC and around 600 were shortlisted to participate. “If you have open source, it helps to make better computer systems. You should be so proud, and it is from the Google and the world” He concluded.
If you can remember “Chris DiBona” from his interview to Linux Format who made positive remark about Sri Lanka and University of Moratuwa, here is what he said there:
“Every year that goes by we see more people from outside of the US take part. The US still has a healthy proportion – 250 or something – but it’s amazing to see where people pop up – like Sri Lanka. Even during the civil war we still had Tamil and other Sri Lankan students taking part in the Summer of Code; it’s like, how did it transcend borders in that way in that country? And so, Sri Lanka has always been really interesting to us in ways that even India and China are not.
Here’s basically a very small nation, and if you look at it, there’s a couple of universities that really glommed onto Summer of Code as a way of expanding their curriculum. Think about that. 79 Computer Science students in a small university in a small country in the midst of a civil war, all doing remarkable work. This is the promise of the internet and computer science made flesh.”
Full article is available here.
Stephanie Taylor explained how does GSoC work and how they choose organizations and students for the competition. Process is such that first, Google chooses organizations and students can research organizations through their idea pages and submit project proposals to the organization. Then organizations catch students with their mentors for a bonding period of a month and there will be coding during the whole summer (40 hour a week, for 3 months) to execute the proposals. 5500$ for the student and 500$ are up for the winner and the winning organization will be given in cash!
She also explained the ‘Google Code-in’ program, which is a GSoC for younger students aged between 13 and 17. It’s a new program which applies classroom skills to real life projects. More details are available here.
Dr Sanjiva, probably the top open source figure in Sri Lanka told that he is contributing to Apcahe projects and to Open Source since last 25 years. “If not for Open Source, I could not get to meet these wonderful people and wouldn’t have been here” he continued.
Students who took over GSoC projects and succeeded presented their success stories as well. There was a panel discussion with Sanjiva, Chrish, Mary, Stephanie and Rohan moderated that session.
Image credits : Akila Panditha and Vipula Disanayake