Google has announced the grand prize winners of its 2011 open source software development contest. The prize for the ten teenagers who scored most points, five of them from India, is a trip to Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Google Code-In invites pre-university students aged 13-17 to complete tasks such as coding, refactoring, documentation and translation over a period of eight weeks.
Tasks are graded at three levels of difficulty, easy, medium and difficult, worth 1, 2 and 4 points respectively designed to take from 2-5 days to complete in between normal school work.
The tasks for GCI 2011 were set by 18 open source organizations including GNOME, FreeBSD, Parrot Virtual, the Perl Foundation and VideoLAN and were mentored by 307 individuals from 51 countries including New Zealand, Uzbekistan, Peru, Bangladesh, Germany, and South Africa.
A total of 542 teenagers from 56 countries took part and between them completed over three thousand tasks.. The school with the largest number of student participants (49) was Technical School Electronic Systems in Sofia Bulgaria. Two schools in Romania, and one each from Turkey and Poland were also in the top five.
The United States had the greatest number, 98, of participating students as shown in this chart of the top ten participant countries:
All participants won a tee-shirt for completing at least one tasks and those who scored 3 or more points, a total of 374 students, were awarded cash prizes of between $100 and $500 with 109 earning the maximum award by scoring 15 or more points.
The ten winners completed a total of 449 tasks and amassed 1300 points indicating that almost half of the tasks must have been at the "hard" level. The top two places on the leaderboard were occupied by two students in India, Shitiz G (200 points from 58 tasks) and Abhishek A (150 points from 60 tasks). Cheng S from the United Kingdom in third place (132 points from 36 tasks) had the top number of points per task (3.7) among the grand prize winners. Students from United States, India, Romania and Canada make up the other seven who, with a parent or guardian, will be flown to Google Headquarters in June for a four-night trip including an award ceremony.