Google Summer Of Code Opens Up To Non-Students
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 19 November 2021

Google has decided to broaden the scope of the Google Summer of Code Program beginning in 2022. The change means that anyone aged 18 years and over who is a newcomer to open source can apply. Two other changes concerning the size and timing of projects also make the program more flexible. 

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Google Summer of Code (GSoC) started 17 years ago as a program for students who wanted to spend their summer break "flipping bits not burgers" to be paired up with open source organizations who  could mentor them.

To date GSoC has brought together over 18,000 university students from 112 countries with over 17,000 mentors from 746 open source organizations.

Outlining the program's rationale on the Google Open Source blog, Stephanie Taylor, GSoC Program Manager states:

At its heart, GSoC is a mentorship program where people interested in learning more about open source are welcomed into our open source communities by excited mentors ready to help them learn and grow as developers. The goal is to have these new contributors stay involved in open source communities long after their Google Summer of Code program is over.

The changes that are now being introduced are aimed at:

better meeting the needs of our open source communities and providing more flexibility to both projects and contributors so that people from all walks of life can find, join and contribute to great open source communities.

The new eligibility criteria mean that you no longer need to have formal student status to participate. This open the scheme up to people who want to get into open source - recent career changers or returners to the workforce and those who are self-taught.

In 2021 the length of commitment to GSoC was reduced from around 350 hours over 12 weeks to around 175 hours over 10 weeks but this didn't suit everyone. In 2022 Google is going to support both medium sized projects (~175 hours) and large projects (~350 hours) in 2022 and be more flexible in the timing so that deadlines for projects can be up to 22 weeks and contributors can switch to a longer timeframe part way through.

According to Taylor: 

One of our goals is to find ways to get more people from different backgrounds into open source which means meeting people where they are at and understanding that not everyone can devote an entire summer to coding.

While the program timeline for GSoC 2022 hasn't yet been announced Open Source organizations are encouraged to find out about what it means to become a mentor organization and would-be contributors are likewise advised to start thinking about what type of open source organization they might want to work with.  

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Last Updated ( Friday, 19 November 2021 )