It is not for nothing that six students of Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar, are beaming from ear to ear these days. They are back on campus after successfully finishing the Google Summer of Code 2011 (GSoC) internship and also richer by $5,000 (Rs. 2.30 lakh), which they earned as stipend for the three-month project.
Aditya Bhatt, Aakriti Gupta, Parth Gupta, Swair Shah, Viranch Mehta and Siddharth Kothari were among 1,115 students from across the world interned on different projects under GSoC 2011. Of the 175 organisations participated in GSoC this year, 48 participated for the first time. Google has been named the best workplace in the world by Fortune and other magazines. Intellectual curiosity and diverse perspectives drive their policies. The lap pool, free laundry facilities, child care and the bring your-dog-to-work policy are among a host of other perks that have become well-known symbols that make Google the fun yet serious workplace.
Aditya Bhatt, a fourth year student, who has the good fortune of going for the internship twice, shares his excitement and achievement of having been part of the programme for the past two years. Bhatt said, I can say that GSoC is a wonderful opportunity for talented student developers to actually have the software they engineer as part of their project used by potentially tens of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, in a matter of months. Apart from providing incredible professional exposure in the software world, a student also gets to earn a large stipend of $5,000 from Google.
Aakriti Gupta, a third year student who along with Swair Shah and Viranch Mehta returned from Europe after attending a summit related to their GSoC project, said, GSoC for me was an awesome experience because with this project I started my contribution to open source software that I use and like. A summer put to good use, implemented a feature I like, worked with great developers, earned for the first time and attended a fully sponsored Desktop Summit in Berlin. What more can one ask for I now feel part of the awesome KDE community with which I interned.
Aditya simplifies a bit what GSoC is exactly. Google Summer of Code is a remote internship program. In GSoC, Google makes a list of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) organisations that want talented students as interns. The organisation also make a list of things or project ideas they would like to be implemented in their code or product. Then we pick projects as per our interests. But to get selected, a student must write a highly detailed proposal indicating how he/she will tackle the challenging problem. Each organisation has a bunch of members who would like to mentor new students. The mentor a project idea will then analyse the proposals submitted for that idea and then pick the most skilled and talented student. Once the student-mentor pairings are made (one-to-one), the tough selection process is over and the internship officially starts. There are two evaluations, mid-term and finals. Google pays the student after each evaluation. Upon successful completion of the project, the student earns $5, 000.
The best part is one can work from the comfort of ones home with an internationally distributed team. Communication is done online. This is good because you are not an outsource, you are working as an equal as part of a team whose goal is to make an extraordinary product, he said. As a student developer, we work on certain open-source software projects. An Open-Source Software (OSS) is software whose code is freely available for the public to view. Although there are ways to make money from FOSS projects, that is not the primary aim of the contributors. The philosophy of OSS is simple if everyone is able to see the code, flaws and bugs will be identified sooner and by more people. This makes a lot of open source projects inherently more secure. Outstanding examples of this include the Linux operating system stack, the popular Firefox web browser, the VLC media player, and more, said Aditya.
Courtesy: Times of India