GF classifieds: Google Summer of Code 2011 edition

Google Summer of Code–yes, bad name for anyone in the southern hemisphere, but you are allowed to apply!–is a project sponsoring Open Source development by students (largely university students, you have to be 18+ or turning 18 by April 25 to apply) over the northern summer period. Google pays a stipend for students to work on a contribution to a project over summer. Open Source projects are selected as mentoring organisations, students apply by submitting a project proposal to a project, and some of those proposals are accepted.

The mentoring organisations for 2011 have just been announced. Student applications open March 28 and close April 8, but students are expected to begin talking to mentoring organisations now.

So as with last year, here’s an edition of GF classifieds for mentoring organisations to reach out to readers here. If you are a mentor or part of a mentoring organisation for Google SoC and you’d like to bring your project to the attention of readers here, please post a description in comments at any time before April 2 (comments automatically close then). The more you can say the better:

  • Do you have link to a list of ideas for projects?
  • Can applicants make contact with you or your mentors in order to discuss their application before submitting?
  • Are previous years’ students available to discuss their experiences?
  • What kind of skills are you looking for?

Of course, if your project has made a commitment to diversity in some way, then feel free to tell us about that.

Former Summer of Code participants who worked on a project and liked it and found it welcoming or diverse, feel free to also promote your former project here, if they are mentoring again.

Note: obviously Google SoC projects accept applications from people of any gender. The reason for this post is to level the playing field at the awareness level. By posting here, what you’re doing is hopefully increasing the visibility of your project among interested women, rather than excluding anyone else from applying.

Update: this thread is for mentoring organisations and former mentees to promote themselves and their projects. So that that isn’t drowned out, use the application tips post for discussing how to apply, and for general discussion of Google Summer of Code that isn’t on either of those topics, use the latest open thread.

7 thoughts on “GF classifieds: Google Summer of Code 2011 edition

  1. Ana

    Hi! I am a Debian Developer and this year I am co-administering the GSOC at Debian. You can find the list of possible projects at but of course, we welcome proposals for any new idea given we can find somebody willing to mentor the project.

    If you have any idea or question, you are welcome to drop us at email in our mailing list or join us in IRC #debian-soc ( If you are shy you can drop me a personal email as a first step before jumping to the public mailing list :)

    We are not looking for people with an impressive set of skills, rather people who is using Debian or a derivative and would like start contributing to Debian and plans to stick around after the summer.

  2. spz

    noone yet? ok, I’ll go first.

    I’m org admin for NetBSD.

    To give a very short summary, if you never heard the term BSD:
    You heard of Linux? that’s one kernel develoment train, and umpteen “the rest of the operating system” around it called distributions, very roughly. BSDs in contrast are different kernels (ie the core of the operating system differs), but the BSD rest of the userlands look rather much alike. The license is not GPL, but BSD, which is similar to the Apache license.

    NetBSD puts a lot of stress on good design and well-thought-out interfaces and abstraction. It tends to attract people who not only split hair as a hobby, but carve pleasing shapes while splitting. :-P

    We are not that large a project (being on the exotic side) there’s usually something between 200-250 active developers.
    The project has been going since 1993.

    The project suggestions list is at

    We not only are available for discussing projects before the student applies, it’s expected strongly enough that it’s nearly a requisite. Our criteria for accepting a student boil basically down to “we think the student understands what the project is about, and still thinks they can do it and want to do it”.

    We will prefer students who are not already members of the project.

    If you want to chat with past years’ students, join #netbsd-code on Freenode irc and ask.

    Requirements: I’m afraid this is no beginners project. We have had students in the past who were the equivalent of college starter (which didn’t prevent them from delivering impressive projects :), and also not all are studying some flavor of computer science (last year we had a student of medicine), but the majority are post-grad CS students. Most projects require good C and general programming skills, as well as being used to Unix and understanding its concepts.

    Regarding a diversity statement: I’m not a native speaker of English, and last year I grabbed all the wrong phrases, so let me try this year with my own badly translated expressions:
    NetBSD doesn’t have a diversity statement, nor is there a formal code of conduct. It is understood pretty strongly, though, that every contributor is valuable and that no-one should have to hand in their self-respect in order to play; that sneering at people (disrespecting them? especially for who they are) is not useful and is Not Done. It is also our experience that excellent contributors often are exceptional in more ways than their ability to program and their interest in NetBSD in the first place.

    There is more than enough work, in any open source project, to go around. Working on open source is not a competition against other contributors, cooperation is the name of the game. Like building a house, making sure the walls meet up snugly is more important than erecting walls anyplace faster.

    If you work with NetBSD, prepare your designs and your code to be dissected, flayed, turned inside out and upside down. Also expect yourself to be treated politely even if someone disagrees violently with your suggestions. We’ll expect the same of you. This way, it can be a pleasant trip to a better OS for everybody.

    If Summer of Code is acceptable for you financially (it’s a gamble, first getting accepted – the organizations often don’t have as many slots as good proposals, and have to turn away students – and then being able to finish the project – even the most industrious student can get sick), do apply for a project or three, if you find any that appeal to you. Try, let the mentoring organization decide if they think you are good enough if you have doubts. They’ll likely rate you higher than you rate yourself. :) If NetBSD isn’t in your comfort zone: there’s 174 other projects. There’s something for any programming skills, and you’ll be working with really good programmers who have quite the interest to teach you. Whether you just add a rarely used function to some software and a line to your resume, or change the course of your life and become a star programmer: It’ll be worth it.

  3. Lydia Pintscher

    I’m one of the org admins for KDE. KDE is a very open and friendly community and we’re always looking for more women to apply.

    We offer ideas in a lot of different areas and are also happy to work with students on their own ideas. is our ideas list.

    Students are encouraged to get in contact with the teams they want to work with early via their IRC channel or mailing list to get feedback and improve their proposal. There is a general GSoC channel for KDE at #kde-soc on freenode and a mailing list at Students can come there to figure out how to best reach their mentor/team if they are unsure and also get feedback on their applications. Each of them has other interested students, mentors, former students and admins around.

    We are mainly looking for C++/Qt work but also have a few web projects for example. KDE is one of the biggest GSoC orgs (biggestt one last year) and with the size comes that we have a large variety of projects to chose from. I’m sure there is something for you as well – check the ideas page to get a feeling for what is available :)

  4. Terri

    I’m one of the mentors for GNU Mailman, which is flying under the Python Foundation banner. We’re a little special with regards to having women mentors and students this year because many of the mentors and former students from Systers are coming over to help us out while Systers takes a hiatus from GSoC. So if you want to hang out with some incredibly cool women (and men!) who I’ve loved working with, it’s a great place to be. :) People are friendly, excited about the work being done, and you’ll be working on what may be the final touches for our 3.0 release!

    Mailman is open source software for maintaining email distribution lists. If you’ve been involved in an open source project, there’s a good chance you’ve already used Mailman to communicate with other developers! We’re looking for students working on completing our new web UI, archives, and the REST API being used… Here’s our not-quite-fully-filled out project list (expect details to be filled in there over the next few days):

    But if there’s something else you’d like to do, propose it now and we’ll see if we can make it work!

    If you’re interested, you should sign up for the Mailman developers list at

    And if you’d like to ask questions more in realtime, the IRC channel is #mailman on My nickname there is “terri” and I’ll be trying to hang out more often to answer questions from students.

    Those of you who are female might also like to interact with some of our former students/mentors with Systers for advice and help setting up your application, dev environment, etc. You can sometimes find a few of us on freenode in #systers-dev and #systers-soc, or on the Systers mailing lists.

  5. Leigh Honeywell

    I’m the org admin for the K-9 Mail project, which is a popular FOSS Android email client. If you’re interested in Java development on Android, we’re the project for you!

    By which I mean, I’m pretty sure we’re the only Android project in GSoC :)

    Our ideas page is here and our template is here. K-9 is a small, friendly project that I’ve really enjoyed being involved with over the past few months. Our IRC channel is #k-9 on freenode and you can ping me on there as the nickname hypatia.

  6. Anne

    Hello all!

    if you like programming around geographical data and software, have a look at OSGeo ideas page:

    OSGeo participates in GSoC as an umbrella organisation for several projects, among which you can find GRASS GIS, Quantum GIS, Opticks, gvSIG, OpenRouter, GeoNetwork… The programming level required is very variable, so don’t be shy, you don’t need to be an über geek ;)

    For any questions, join #osgeo on freenode, and/or write a mail to soc -at-

    All the best!

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