Open Source Meets Google Summer of Code 2012

Every year, I find it an honor when I'm asked by open source projects to announce that they have entered been accepted as mentoring organizations into Google's Summer of Code program. I'm a big advocate of college education and I also understand the importance of a summer job to keeping those college bills under control. Open source projects and the Google Summer of Code provides this opportinuty for upcoming software developers. The Summer of Code is a "global program sponsored by Google that offers post-secondary student developers ages 18 and older stipends to write code for various open source software projects".

There are several goals to the Google Summer of Code program:

  1. Create and release open source code for the benefit of all
  2. Inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development
  3. Help open source projects identify and bring in new developers and committers
  4. Provide students the opportunity to do work related to their academic pursuits (think "flip bits, not burgers")
  5. Give students more exposure to real-world software development scenarios (e.g., distributed development, software licensing questions, mailing-list etiquette)

The Summer of Code program provides college age students with alternatives to the typical summer employment at the local grocery store or fast food chain with an opportinity to work the code and on projects that inspires them the most. Google will provide a stipend of $5500 USD per accepted student developer, of which $5000 USD goes to the student and $500 USD goes to the mentoring organization.

Several open source content management related projects have been accepted into the Google Summer of Code 2012 program. I've included SilverStripe's acceptance announcement below. SilverStripe was the first project that contacted me this year about their participation as a mentoring organization in the program and I promised them the spotlight. Additional CMS-like projects in this year's Summer of Code that I should mention include: Drupal, Joomla, ATutor, Moodle, phpBB, MediaWiki, MoinMoin Wiki, and XWiki. If there are any additional content management related projects that I've missed, please let me know via the comments below.

SilverStripe CMS works with Google on further development

Open source CMS SilverStripe will for the second time benefit from Google providing university students worldwide the chance to enhance its web software.

In 2007, SilverStripe took part in the annual “Google Summer Of Code” programme for the first time. Back then, the participation and the new features developed helped the company to gain global attention in time for the release of their second version. SilverStripe’s involvement with this year’s Google programme is again timed with a major release of their software.

Google is looking for 1,200 students to contribute features to 180 different open source projects. The programme takes place in the northern hemisphere’s summer between late May and August. Students spend upwards of 20 hours per week contributing to the open source project remotely from their home base.

SilverStripe will review proposals from students in April, and has offered a variety of project ideas to students, including making the software easier to use by disabled users, and personalising content to different website users. Experienced senior SilverStripe developers from inside and outside the company will mentor and support the students.

In addition to the experience and public awareness, Google rewards the participants with a US $5000 stipend. Interested students must apply by 6 April 2012.

SilverStripe CMS is a free software product used to build and manage websites. It has been downloaded approximately 500,000 times and powers websites for major corporations and government agencies in New Zealand and other countries.