Still Time to Get Involved in Google Summer of Code

2014-02-12 14:54
Written by
kreynen - member of the CiviCRM community - view blog guidelines

The developers who've already volunteered to help mentor students, organizations that agreed to give back by allowing their staff to co-mentor a project, and everyone who's already submitted project ideas deserve a HUGE THANKS!! We got the level of participation we needed to submit the official application to Google for CiviCRM to be mentoring organization... but that doesn't mean I'm done bugging the community for more project ideas and looking for more developers and organizations who want to get involved. If you had an idea and just didn't have time to flush it out before Feb 10, you can still add it to the Google Summer of Code - 2014 Wiki or start a thread in the Developer Discussion to get help flushing the idea out.

No idea is too small, too big, or too complicated to be discussed. Small projects can be combined with related projects. If the project is too big or complicated, we can scope it to a more reasonable size.

Anything that involves code and will keep a student busy for 3 months has potential. I'm really surprised we haven't seen project ideas added for some requests I've seen repeatedly over the years like:

While the $5,000 Google will pay students might not seem like much of a budget, don't discount these "students". Many of them are in computer science masters programs and will be earning six figures when they graduate. They aren't doing this as much for the $$, but being able to list something about Google on their resumes. If you work at an organization that has been interested in any of these features, now is the time to get involved. These are the next important dates:

  • Feb 17 - Google begins reviewing mentor organization applications
  • Feb 24 - The final list of mentoring organizations is announced
  • March 10 - Students begin applying with full project proposals

There isn't much time between when we find out if CiviCRM was accepted as a mentoring organization and when we have to convince students to apply for a CiviCRM related project over projects from the other open source projects. Google expects to accept 190 organizations as GSoC mentoring organizations and ~1,300 student projects this year. That's an investment of > $7 million in these open source projects in just 3 months.

The number of students Google pays to work on CiviCRM projects will depend on the quality of the students and their project proposals. The number and quality of the students that apply will depend on the quality and "sexiness" of our project ideas.

I am very confident that CiviCRM will be accepted as a mentoring organization. We have several previous GSoC mentoring organizations vouching for us and have added Brian Shaughnessy from Lighthouse Consulting & Design as a potential mentor. Brian was a GSoC mentor for the Joomla project in 2009. I would really like to see staff from more organizations step up and agree to help co-mentor some of these projects like Owen Bowden (Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research) and John Sullivan (Free Software Foundation). If your organization has benefitted from using CiviCRM, but you don't have the budget to contribute to a Make It Happen Campaign or fund a custom extension, getting involved as a co-mentor is a great way to give back to CiviCRM.