The Best Guide to Understand Everything About the Google Summer of Code

Are you willing to contribute to open-source projects but don't know where to start? Then Google Summer of Code is the right place for you. GSoC is a great place for students and learners who want to work on industry-based innovative projects using several technologies with guided mentorship from top-notch open source organizations. 

What is Google Summer of Code (GSoC)?

Google Summer of Code is a global online program that allows university students to participate in open-source software development projects. GSoC is a mentorship program conducted by Google that helps students and individuals interested in programming work on real-world open-source projects with a mentor's guidance.

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Google Summer of Code History

  • GSoC was first held from May 2005 to August 2005. So, it's been 17 years since GSoC has been active. 
  • In GSoC's first year, a total of 40 projects and 400 students participated.
  • By the end of the 17th Google Summer of Code in 2021, over 18000 contributors from 112 countries have been there. 
  • More than 17 thousand mentors have helped the students with open source projects, and over 40 million lines of code have been submitted. 
  • The program has brought together 35K students and mentors from over 130 countries worldwide. As of November 2021, 746 open-source projects have participated as mentoring organizations for the program.
  • Most of the organizations that have participated in the last 17 years tell that the Google program has helped them find new community members and active committees.

Google Summer of Code Program Benefits

  • The GSoC program will help you enhance your software development skills.
  • You will get ample exposure to open-source projects.
  • The program provides the opportunity to interact with top developers and learn a lot from them.
  • You will get hands-on experience working with new tools and techniques while working on the project.
  • The experience and recommendations from the program will help you get better job opportunities.
  • There is a healthy stipend as well.

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GSoC Program Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the Google Summer of Code program as a student, there are a few criteria that you need to fulfill.

  • Interested individuals must be at least 18 years of age when they register.
  • You should be eligible to work in the country you reside in during the program.
  • You should be an open-source beginner.
  • You must not have been accepted as a Student in GSoC more than once. Only GSoC Students from 2020 or 2021 are eligible to apply a second time in 2022.
  • You also should not be an Organization Administrator or Mentor in the program.

There are a few criteria to be fulfilled to be eligible to participate in a mentoring organization. 

  • You must be a group running an active open-source software project. 
  • The project does not need to be a legally incorporated entity. 
  • The interested organizations must have already produced and released software under an Open Source Initiative-approved license.
  • They also need to have at least two contributors to serve as organization administrators or mentors for the Google Summer of Code program to participate.

Mentor Organizations in GSoC 2021

Some of the popular open-source organizations that participated in GSoC 2021 are listed below:


Google Summer of Code Process

  • When the dates are revealed for the GSoC program, open-source software organizations apply to be mentor organizations.
  • After that, based on the criteria that you saw before, Google selects the organizations to participate.
  • Once the list of organizations is out, interested students and individuals choose the organization they want to contribute to. So, if you are interested in web development or cloud computing, you should look for those organizations that work on web development and or use cloud computing for their projects. It's good to research and know your organization and mentors beforehand.
  • After that, you need to select a project of that organization that you want to work on. The organizations put out several projects that the participants can build. So, you can choose any project based on your skills and expertise. Try to understand the project's code because you will be working on some existing projects in most cases. If you don't understand the code, then take help from the mentors of the project. Please do all kinds of research since this is the project you are going to work on for the next 3-months. 
  • Once you are done choosing the project, you have to prepare a proposal for the project. In the proposal, you need to write the introduction of the project, goals of the project, its implementation steps, timeline, deliverables, benefits to the open course community, etc. Please try to submit the proposal at the earliest.

Now, say you want to work with CERN HSF, one of the world’s largest centers for scientific research on high energy physics. 

So, you can search for CERN HSF GitHub on google and look for their repository and the kind of projects they work with.

  • Now, the mentor organizations will choose the students they want to consider. 
  • Next, a mentor will be assigned to help you with the project.
  • Finally, the students work on their projects with the mentor’s guidance for 12 weeks.

Evaluation Process at Google Summer of Code Program

  • Students need to pass a midterm and a final evaluation. It will evaluate your project twice, starting in the middle of the program and at the end of the program after you submit your final work. 
  • Students who pass each evaluation are paid a stipend for their work. This stipend varies for each country based on the PPP (Purchasing Power Parity). For India, the stipend amount is 1500 USD for medium-sized projects and 3000 USD for large-scale projects. In the USA, the stipend is 3000 USD for medium-sized projects and 6000 USD for large size projects.
  • In the end, students submit the code they have written for their project, and the organizations make it publicly available for everyone to get access to and use it.
  • The mentor organizations in good standing also receive 500 USD for every accepted student at the end of the program. This is regardless of whether the student passes or fails. 

GSoC 2022

The process for the Google Summer of Code 2022 program started on February 7, with mentoring organizations submitting applications to Google. The contributor application period began on April 4, and the last date for submission is April 19. The accepted contributors will start coding on June 13. The final date for mentors to submit evaluations for GSoC contributor projects with extended deadlines is November 28, 2022.

To know more about the GSoC 2022 program timeline, check out the link.

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This tutorial aimed to help you understand the Google Summer of Code program in detail. You learned about its history, the benefits of GSoC, how the GSoC program works, and the evaluation process. 

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If you have any queries, please feel free to put them in the comments section of this article. Our quick response team will get back to you.

About the Author

Avijeet BiswalAvijeet Biswal

Avijeet is a Senior Research Analyst at Simplilearn. Passionate about Data Analytics, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning, Avijeet is also interested in politics, cricket, and football.

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