(This page is a work in progress.)

Information for Students

Thanks for your interest in GNOME Summer of Code!

Summer of Code (SoC) is a program promoting open source software development by sponsoring students to work on open source projects from the comfort of their home. If you are a student interested in developing open source software, this program is for you! Don't worry if you have not developed open source software before. We are generally looking for students who are willing to learn, have good coding skills and, most importantly, have a keen interest in open source software development.

Students who successfully complete SoC will receive USD$5000 for their work.

How to Apply

To participate in SoC as a student, you must be an individual enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution. Sorry, no group applications are allowed. Please check Google SoC 's eligibility section for more details.

Project Ideas

A good place to look for project ideas is SummerOfCode2010/Ideas. (This page is being updated constantly during the application period - Please check it frequently.) It is important to note that this list is not exclusive: if you have a good idea that is not listed, don't hesitate to apply for your project. It's probably a good idea to ask people in the GNOME community if they think your idea is good, though. Note that we are accepting coding projects only - Sorry, no translation or documentation projects are allowed.

It's a good idea to take the time to interact with the GNOME community and discuss your ideas. Hanging around some GNOME IRC channels (Example: #gnome-hackers, #gnome-love) is a good way to get in touch with potential mentors. The #soc channel on irc.gnome.org could be useful if you have any SoC-related questions. Browsing the GnomeLove mailing list can also give you an idea of what the GNOME community is interested in.

The Application

Once the students applications period has opened on March 29, you have to submit your application on Google's Summer of Code website. Your application must be written in English. It should contain a detailed description of your project proposal. You should consider answering questions such as:

  • What is its ultimate goal?
  • What components will it have?
  • What benefits does it have for GNOME and its community?
  • Why you'd like to complete this particular project?
  • How do you plan to achieve completion of your project?
    • It really helps to see a schedule with dates and important milestones/deliveries.
  • Why do you think you are be the best person to work on this project?
  • What are your past experiences (if any) with the open source world?
  • Why are you interested in improving GNOME?
  • Please attach a link to a bug containing a patch you've written.

Don't just answer these questions, use your imagination and try to be clear. Don't forget to show enthusiasm. Please try to use correct English if possible. The selection committee understands that not all applicants speak English as their first language. In fact, many GNOME community members speak English as their second or third language!

It is never too early to start working on your SoC application! Note that SoC's positions are extremely competitive. Last year, GNOME SoC received approximately 160 applications and only 25 of them were accepted. There were several projects that were on the cusp of being accepted but were not. Make sure you research the potential projects and write up a strong application. Your SoC application should be specific to your project. Potential SoC applicants may also want to read Google's advice for SoC students page and this part of Google's SOC FAQ. Please see "Selection Process" section below for GNOME-specific details.

Selection Process

Since an important goal of the SoC for us is to get new contributors, we'll try to avoid accepting students who already participated in a GNOME-related SoC/WSOP project or who are already GNOME contributors (thus, this does not apply to students who participated in SoC, but in a totally unrelated to GNOME project). However, this is not a strict rule: if a student in such a case proposes a really great project, we'll accept his/her application without any hesitation. Also, we don't require prior open source involvement, but we would like to see some of your work in the form of a simple patch to a GNOME project.

Every GNOME Foundation member will be able to look at the student applications and comment on them. When the student application period is closed, a small selection committee (around 10 people) will analyze the comments and select the projects that are, in their opinion, the best. Here are some criteria of selection: usefulness for GNOME, if the student has already good thoughts about the project, chances that the project is completed, etc.

How you will work

If your application is accepted, here are some information about how you'll integrate with our community, and what we'd like you to do:

  • You will be assigned a mentor, (s)he will provide guidance throughout the project and will judge your achievements
  • You will either have access to a git repository or create your own git repository (There are also services such as gitorious and github) where you'll put your code
  • You will be subscribed to the gnome-soc-list mailing list

  • If you have a blog, we'll aggregate it on a Planet about GNOME and Summer of Code: we're all interested not only in your projects, but also in knowing you! You can have a look at Planet GNOME at http://planet.gnome.org.

  • You can come in the #soc channel on irc.gnome.org, to talk with other students and mentors (and feel free to join other channels!)
  • We'd like you to send a weekly summary about your progress. If there hasn't been a lot of code written, it's not a big issue, since writing about your thoughts is still valuable
  • It'd be great if you could try as much as possible to integrate with the community in all possible ways! That's the most important part of Summer of Code. Don't be surprised if you are invited to some local GNOME events!

Although it's unlikely, you may run into problems with your assigned mentor. In this case feel free to talk to GNOME SoC administrators. Your friendly GNOME SoC admins are RubenVermeersch, DanielSiegel, ChristopheFergeau and SandyArmstrong.

Licensing and Attribution

SoC requires any code and other contributions you provide to be given under an OSI approved license, to ensure your work is available for use by anyone in the world.

The GNOME modules are released under various free software licenses, generally the GPLv2 (and later) and the LGPLv2 (and later). Therefore you must agree that the code, ideas and all other aspects of your contributions in your entry are released under the same license as the the module you're contributing to, so that they may be included in the GNOME project.

We are very pleased to have your help and as a courtesy are happy to attribute your work in various places, for example in blog posts. We will assume you want your name mentioned unless you suggest an alias, or the desire to remain anonymous.

Notes from past students

Here are some links with some notes about applying or participating to the Summer of Code from some of our past students:


Outreach/SummerOfCode/2010/Students (last edited 2013-12-03 18:33:15 by WilliamJonMcCann)