Does software coding in a Google office sound like a cool way to spend your summer? It certainly does, at least to the 50 students from various campuses of Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, who have been selected for the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) this year.
GSoC is an annual ­programme initiated by Google wherein selected students are required to complete a free and ­open-source software coding project during the summer. Each of the ­students is awarded a stipend worth US$ 5,500 for the ­duration of the programme. The programme is open to students aged 18 or more. This year’s ­programme commenced on May 19 and will go on until August 25, 2014.
BITS, Pilani has announced that 51 BITSians have been selected for GSoC programme this year. These students ­represent different BITS Pilani campuses with the largest cohort being selected from the Goa ­campus (30), followed by Pilani (18) and Hyderabad (3), respectively.
Commenting on his ­selection, Gaurav Narula, a student from BITS-Pilani KK Birla Goa Campus says, “One advantage of being a BITSian is that you get considerable advice and ­guidance from your seniors who have been selected by GSoC in the previous years.”
Rohan Saxena, who is ­currently pursuing his fourth year, says, “The Google tag ­definitely helps. It gives me an edge over others during ­placements.”
Another student, Manoj Kumar, who has been selected for GSoC for the second time, says, “It is not just about the ­technical knowledge but also about the time that you are ­willing to ­dedicate to your project. It shouldn’t be about the money but the interest to learn and apply coding in the real world.”
His advice to his juniors is to be open and to work hard. He considers these attributes to be primary prerequisites to success besides knowledge in coding.
The students will not be working in the Google offices in India; instead, they will be working with some mentor organisations like Mozilla, Public Lab, Macsports, Monkey Project, to name a few. Students will upload their completed code via the GSoC 2014 official website.
The selection process for the programme is quite ­elaborate and the first step involves ­participating in open source projects to choose at least two organisations to represent them.
Organisation ­administrators will submit a proposal for ­participation online to the ­mentoring organisations. Google, then notifies the ­administrators and an account for selected projects and ­organisations is created on the Google Summer of Code 2014 website.
Students submit project ­proposals online to work with particular mentoring ­organisations, which in turn rank student proposals and assign a mentor to each project.
The progress of the students is tracked by their respective mentors who also evaluate their performance. After a final review, students upload their completed code at www.google-melange.com. For more details, visit here www.google-melange.com/gsoc/homepage/google/gsoc2014.