Frequently Asked Questions

Google Summer of Code™ 2011 Frequently Asked Questions

For questions about how to use the Google Summer of Code site, please see the User's Guide. Please also consider reading the Google Summer of Code student and  organization administrator and mentor manuals online to get a more in-depth look at the program. The manuals were written by and for participants in the program, so hopefully they can provide some insightful information for you.

About Google Summer of Code

  1. What is Google Summer of Code?
  2. What is the program timeline?
  3. What are the goals of this program?
  4. Is Google Summer of Code a recruiting program?
  5. How many mentoring organizations does Google expect to take part in the program?
  6. How many students does Google expect to take part in the program?
  7. How does the program work?
  8. When can I apply for Google Summer of Code?
  9. How do evaluations work?

Applying to Google Summmer of Code

  1. How does a mentoring organization apply?
  2. What should a mentoring organization application look like?
  3. What is an Ideas list?
  4. How does a student apply?
  5. What should a student application look like?
  6. Can a student submit more than one application?
  7. Can students working on an open source project continue to work on it as part of Google Summer of Code?
  8. Should students begin working on their applications before Google begins accepting program applications?
  9. Can a student work on more than one project?
  10. Can a group apply for and work on a single proposal?
  11. What happens if two students are accepted to work on the same project, e.g. from an organization's Ideas list?
  12. Are proposals for documentation work eligible for Google Summer of Code?

Mentoring Organizations

  1. What is a mentoring organization?
  2. What is the role of a mentoring organization?
  3. What is the role of an organization administrator?
  4. Can a mentoring organization have more than one administrator?
  5. What kind of mentoring organizations should apply?
  6. When will accepted mentoring organizations be announced?
  7. Should students contact the mentoring organization before the program begins?
  8. Should students send proposals directly to the mentoring organizations?
  9. Are mentoring organizations required to use the code produced?
  10. Will a student receive the stipend if the organization does not use her/his code?
  11. What if there is no organization doing the kind of open source work I'm doing?

Eligibility

  1. Are there any age restrictions on participating?
  2. Who's eligible to participate as a student in Google Summer of Code?
  3. Is my school “accredited”?
  4. Who's not eligible to participate as a student in Google Summer of Code?
  5. What are the eligibility requirements for mentoring organizations?
  6. What are the eligibility requirements for mentors?
  7. I have been accepted in to an accredited post-secondary school program, but have not yet begun attending. Can I still take part in the program?
  8. I graduate in the middle of the program. Can I still participate?
  9. I am a student who has already participated in Google Summer of Code. Can I apply again this year?
  10. I would like to participate in Google Summer of Code as both a mentor and a student. Is this possible?
  11. How much time is required to participate as a student in Google Summer of Code?
  12. How much time is required to participate as a mentor in Google Summer of Code?

Code

  1. Who owns the code produced by student developers?
  2. What licenses do I have choose from?
  3. What language(s) should a student program in?
  4. Where must development occur?

Payments, Forms and Other Administrivia

  1. How do payments work?
  2. I would like to use the work I did for my Google Summer of Code project to obtain course credit from my university. Is this acceptable?
  3. Isn't it unusual for open source developers to be paid?
  4. What documentation is required from students?
  5. What tax related documentation is required from mentoring organizations?
  6. I am a student in the United States on an F1 visa. How do I get work authorization to participate?

Other Questions

  1. What are the program mailing lists?
  2. Is there an IRC channel I can idle on?
  3. What can I do to spread the word about Google Summer of Code?
  4. I would like to schedule a Google Summer of Code information session or meetup. What is the process for doing so?
  5. Are there other resources for learning about the program?
  6. Where do I file bugs and feature requests for the Google Summer of Code web app?
  7. Is there a t-shirt involved?
  8. Can I find Google Summer of Code on any social networking sites?
  9. What if I have a question not answered in this FAQ?

 

About Google Summer of Code

1. What is Google Summer of Code?

Google Summer of Code is a program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects.  Historically, the program has brought together over 4,500 students with over 300 open source projects, to create millions of lines of code. The program, which kicked off in 2005, is now in its seventh year. If you are feeling nostalgic or are interested in learning more about the projects we have worked with in the past, check out the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 program pages. 

While the majority of past student participants were enrolled in university or college Computer Science and Computer Engineering programs, Google Summer of Coders come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds and degree programs (Bachelors/Masters/PhDs), from computational biology to mining engineering. Many of our past participants had never participated in an open source project before Google Summer of Code; others used the Google Summer of Code stipend as an opportunity to concentrate fully on their existing open source coding activities over the summer. Many of our 'graduates' have later become program mentors. This a global program run completely online.

 

2. What is the program timeline?

Community organized meetups and infosessions will regularly be added to the program calendar, so keep an eye on the calendar to find out about events near you. You may also want to check out our FAQ on scheduling meetups.

January 24:

Program announced.

February 28:

19:00 UTC

Mentoring organizations can begin submitting applications to Google.

March 11:

23:00 UTC

Mentoring organization application deadline.

March 14-17:  

Google program administrators review organization applications.

March 18:

19:00 UTC

List of accepted mentoring organizations published on the Google Summer of Code 2011 site.

March 18-27:

Would-be student participants discuss application ideas with mentoring organizations.

March 28:

19:00 UTC

Student application period opens.

April 8:

19:00 UTC

Student application deadline.

Interim Period:

Mentoring organizations review and rank student proposals; where necessary, mentoring organizations may request further proposal detail from the student applicant.

April 22:

  1. All mentors must be signed up and all student proposals matched with a mentor - 07:00 UTC
  2. Student ranking/scoring deadline. Please do not add private comments with a nonzero score or mark students as ineligible (unless doing so as part of resolving duplicate accepted students) after this deadline - 17:00 UTC
  3. IRC meeting to resolve any outstanding duplicate accepted students - 19:00 UTC

April 25:

19:00 UTC

Accepted student proposals announced on the Google Summer of Code 2011 site.

Community Bonding Period:

Students get to know mentors, read documentation, get up to speed to begin working on their projects.

May 23:

  1. Students begin coding for their Google Summer of Code projects;
  2. Google begins issuing initial student payments provided tax forms are on file and students are in good standing with their communities.

Interim Period:

Mentors give students a helping hand and guidance on their projects.

July 11:

19:00 UTC

Mentors and students can begin submitting mid-term evaluations.

July 15:

19:00 UTC

  1. Mid-term evaluations deadline;
  2. Google begins issuing mid-term student payments provided passing student survey is on file.

Interim Period:

Mentors give students a helping hand and guidance on their projects.

August 15:

Suggested 'pencils down' date. Take a week to scrub code, write tests, improve documentation, etc.

August 22:  19:00 UTC

Firm 'pencils down' date. Mentors, students and organization administrators can begin submitting final evaluations to Google.

August 26:

19:00 UTC

  1. Final evaluation deadline
  2. Google begins issuing student and mentoring organization payments provided forms and evaluations are on file.

August 29:

Final results of Google Summer of Code 2011 announced

August 30:

Students can begin submitting required code samples to Google

October 22 - 23:

Mentor Summit at Google: Representatives from each successfully participating organization are invited to Google to greet, collaborate and code. Our mission for the weekend: make the program even better, have fun and make new friends.

 

3. What are the goals of this program?

 Google Summer of Code has several goals:

  1. Create and release open source code for the benefit of all
  2. Inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development
  3. Help open source projects identify and bring in new developers and committers
  4. Provide students the opportunity to do work related to their academic pursuits. during the summer (think "flip bits, not burgers")
  5. Give students more exposure to real-world software development scenarios (e.g., distributed development, software licensing questions, mailing-list etiquette)

 

4. Is Google Summer of Code a recruiting program?

Not really. To be clear, Google will use the results of the program to help identify potential recruits, but that's not the focus of the program. Take a look at the organizations we've worked with in the past, and you'll see the vast majority are engaged in work that's not directly applicable to Google's business. That said, the more code out there, the more everyone benefits.

Additionally, we've heard from several of our past student participants that their participation in Google Summer of Code made them more attractive to potential employers, and most participants who have gained employment as a result of their Google Summer of Code work are not currently employed by Google. We're just pleased the program has helped some students when embarking on their technical careers. We're also pleased that the industry sees participation in the program as an additional factor to qualify a future employee.

 

5. How many mentoring organizations does Google expect to take part in the program?

We worked with 40 organizations in 2005, over 100 in 2006, over 130 in 2007, 175 in 2008, and 150 in 2009. We worked with 150 mentoring organizations in 2010 and we expect even more to take part in 2011.

 

6. How many students does Google expect to take part in the program?

We funded approximately 400 student projects in 2005, 600 in 2006, 900 in 2007, 1125 in 2008, and 1,000 in 2009. We've funded 1,026 student projects in 2010 and expect a slightly higher number of student participants in 2011. For more information, see our Notes on Student Allocations.

 

 

7. How does the program work?

Here are the steps:

  1. Open source projects who'd like to participate in Google Summer of Code in 2011 should choose an organization administrator(s) to represent them.
  2. Organization administrators will submit the project's application for participation online.
  3. If you’re not currently involved with an organization and want to be a mentor for the program, please contact that organization and speak to them about their mentor selection criteria.
  4. Google will notify the organization administrators of acceptance, and an account for the organization will be created on the Google Summer of Code 2011 site.
  5. Students submit project proposals online to work with particular mentoring organizations.
  6. Mentoring organizations rank student proposals and perform any other due diligence on their potential students; student proposals are matched with a mentor.
  7. Google allocates a particular number of student slots to each organization.
  8. Mentoring Organizations make their final decision on which students to accept into the program.
  9. Students are notified of acceptance.
  10. Students begin learning more about their mentoring organization and its community before coding work starts.
  11. Students begin coding work at the official start of the program, provided they've interacted well with their community up until the program start date.
  12. Mentors and students provide mid-term progress evaluations.
  13. Mentors provide a final evaluation of student progress at close of program; students submit a final review of their mentor and the program.
  14. Student uploads completed code to Google Code hosted project

 

8. When can I apply for Google Summer of Code?

We'll begin accepting applications from open source mentoring organizations on February 28, 2011; we'll stop accepting organization applications on March 11th at 23:00 UTC. The student application period begins March 28, 2011 and ends April 8th at 19:00 UTC. For full details, see the program timeline.

 

9. How do evaluations work?

Google will pre-publish the evaluation questions for both students and mentors. Mentors will fill out mid-term and final evaluations for their students via the Google Summer of Code 2011 site. These evaluations will be visible in the system to the mentor and the mentoring organization's administrator(s). Students will fill out a mid-term and final evaluation of their mentors online as well, and their evaluations will only be visible in the system to the mentoring organization's administrator(s). Program administrators from Google will have access to all evaluation data.

In almost all cases, students will never see their mentor's evaluation of their progress, nor will a mentor see a student's evaluation of her/his mentorship. However, in the case where the mentoring organization's administrator and a student's mentor are one and the same, the student's evaluation will be shared with the mentor. If you are a student in a situation where your mentor is also your organization’s administrator and you would like to discuss an issue with the program, please contact the Google Summer of Code program administrators. Organization administrators are expected to review mid-term and final evaluations and to provide course corrections where necessary.

In some cases, Google's program administrators may need to share the results of evaluations with the student and mentor, such as to arbitrate when payment should not be made. Should this need arise, all parties will be notified in advance.

 

Applying to Google Summer of Code

1. How does a mentoring organization apply?

The organization should choose a single administrator to submit its application via the Google Summer of Code 2011 site between February 28 - March 11, 2011.

 

2. What should a mentoring organization application look like?

In addition to anything else your organization would like to submit as an application, Google will be asking (at least) the following questions as part of the application process:

  1. Describe your organization.
  2. Why is your organization applying to participate in Google Summer of Code 2011? What do you hope to gain by participating?
  3. Did your organization participate in past Google Summer of Codes? If so, please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation.
  4. If your organization has not previously participated in Google Summer of Code, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?
  5. What license(s) does your project use?
  6. What is the URL for your Ideas page?
  7. What is the main development mailing list for your organization?
  8. What is the main IRC channel for your organization?
  9. Does your organization have an application template you would like to see students use? If so, please provide it now.
  10. Who will be your backup organization administrator?
  11. What criteria did you use to select these individuals as mentors? Please be as specific as possible.
  12. What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?
  13. What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?
  14. What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before, during and after the program?
  15. What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the project after Google Summer of Code concludes?

 

A few notes on the mentoring organization application:

  1. If you take a look at the program timeline, we've left about a week and a half for students to get to know you before submitting their applications. It is critical that it be obvious how students should reach you to discuss applying to your organization; plan to link this information from your Ideas list at the very least.
  2. The email addresses associated with the Google Account information provided during application process will be used as the primary mode of contact by Google throughout the program, e.g. the email address which we will use to subscribe you to the Google Summer of Code mentors/admins-only mailing list.

 

3. What is an Ideas list?

 An Ideas list should be a list of suggested student projects. This list is meant to introduce contributors to your project's needs and to provide inspiration to would-be student applicants. It is useful to classify each idea as specifically as possible, e.g. "must know Python" or "easier project; good for a student with more limited experience with C++." If your organization plans to provide an application template, it would be good to include it on your Ideas list.

Keep in mind that your Ideas list should be a starting point for student applications; we've heard from past mentoring organization participants that some of their best student projects are those that greatly expanded on a proposed idea or were blue-sky proposals not mentioned on the Ideas list at all. A link to a bug tracker for your opensource organization is NOT an ideas list.

 

4. How does a student apply?

Students can submit their applications via the Google Summer of Code 2011 site from March 28 - April 8, 2011. We hear almost universally from our mentoring organizations that the best applications they receive are from students who took the time to interact and discuss their ideas before submitting an application, so make sure to check out each organization's Ideas list to get to know a particular open source organization better.

 

5. What should a student application look like?

Your application should include the following: your project proposal, why you'd like to execute on this particular project, and the reason you're the best individual to do so. Your proposal should also include details of your academic, industry, and/or open source development experience, and other details as you see fit. An explanation of your development methodology is a good idea, as well. It is always helpful to include contact information, as well, as it will not be automatically shared with your would-be mentors as part of the application process. If the organization you want to work with has a specific application template they would like you to use, it will be made available to you to fill in when submitting your proposal via the Google Summer of Code web app.

You may also want to look over Proposal Example 1 and Proposal Example 2 in the Google Summer of Code student manual to see some examples.

 

6. Can a student submit more than one application?

 Yes, each student may submit up to twenty applications. However, only one application will be accepted. We've heard from our mentoring organizations that quality is better than quantity.

 

7. Can students already working on an open source project continue to work on it as part of Google Summer of Code?

Yes, as long as they meet all other requirements for program eligibility. Students should be sure to note their previous relationship with the project in their applications. New work will need to be done for the project as part of participation in Google Summer of Code.

 

8. Should students begin working on their applications before Google begins accepting program applications?

That's up to you. Keep in mind, though, that our mentoring organizations will be publishing a list of proposed project ideas, so you may find that you'll want to revamp your application later, or create an entirely new one to address one of those ideas.

 

9. Can a student work on more than one project?

No, each participant is only eligible for one stipend.

 

10. Can a group apply for and work on a single proposal?

No, only an individual may work on a given project.

 

11. What happens if two students are accepted to work on the same project, e.g. from an organization's Ideas list?

 That's fine, a little duplication is par for the course in open source.

 

12. Are proposals for documentation work eligible for Google Summer of Code?

 While we greatly appreciate the value of documentation, this program is an exercise in developing code; we can't accept proposals for documentation-only work at this time.

 

Mentoring Organizations

1. What is a mentoring organization?

A group running an active free/open source software project, e.g. the Python Software Foundation. The project does not need to be a legally incorporated entity. If you're looking for a broader picture, you can find a list of all mentoring organizations who have participated in the past on the Google Summer of Code 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 pages. Mentoring organizations must produce and release software under an Open Source Initiative approved license in order to participate in the program.

 

2. What is the role of a mentoring organization?

Each mentoring organization is expected to provide:

  1. A pool of project ideas for students to choose from, publicly published by the mentoring organization as an Ideas list
  2. An organization administrator to act as the project's main point of contact for Google
  3. A person or group responsible for review and ranking of student applications, both those proposals which tie into the org's Ideas list and "blue-sky" proposals
  4. A person or group of people responsible for monitoring the progress of each accepted student and to mentor her/him as the project progresses
  5. A person or group responsible for taking over for a student's assigned mentor in the event they are unable to continue mentoring, e.g. take a vacation, have a family emergency
  6. A written evaluation of each student participant, including how s/he worked with the group, whether s/he should be invited back should we do another Google Summer of Code, etc.

 

In addition to these responsibilities, a mentoring organization should actively encourage each student developer to participate in the project's community in whichever way makes the most sense for the project, be it development mailing lists, idling in the project's IRC channel, participating in the project's forum, etc. A truly successful mentoring organization will work diligently to ensure that as many of their students as possible remain active project participants long after the conclusion of the program.

 

3. What is the role of an organization administrator?

An organization administrator oversees the overall progress of a mentoring organization and its students throughout the program. Organization administrators will have different responsibilities depending on the organization, but at the very least they will need to:

1. Submit the organization's program application to Google

2. Act as the main point of contact between Google and the organization

3. Respond to any inquiries from Google within 48 hours

4. Assign a back up mentor should a mentor be unable to work with a student

5. Ensure all program evaluations are completed on time on or before the deadlines

For some projects, the organization administrator also acted as an arbiter when disputes arose between students and mentors, but each project should individually decide how such situations should be handled.

 

4. Can a mentoring organization have more than one administrator?

 Yes, in fact, it is required that you have at least two administrators per organization. It's good to have a back-up administrator identified who can cover for your administrator should s/he go out of town, etc. If your back-up administrator becomes the primary administrator, make sure to notify Google's program administrators.

 

5. What kind of mentoring organizations should apply? 

As you can see from the lists of our mentoring organizations for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, many different types of open source projects participate in Google Summer of Code. As long as your project can provide mentors and is releasing code under an Open Source Initiative approved license, you are welcome and encouraged to apply. Unfortunately, there are far more great open source projects than we can work with, so if your project is highly niche or has very few users, chances are that your application will not be accepted.

You may also find our Notes on Organization Selection Criteria helpful.

 

6. When will accepted mentoring organizations be announced?

 We will announce the list of accepted mentoring organizations on the Google Summer of Code 2011 home page on March 18, 2011.

 

7. Should students contact the mentoring organization before the program begins?

If you're interested in contributing to a particular open source project, there's no need to wait for Google Summer of Code to start; start idling in the project's IRC channel, subscribe to the development mailing lists, take a look through the bug tracker and submit a patch. If you see something that you think would make a particularly good project for Google Summer of Code, why not suggest it to the organization?

That said, we'll announce the list of accepted organizations on March 18, 2011. At that point, students should definitely contact the mentoring organizations using the contact information listed on the project's Ideas page.

 

8. Should students send proposals directly to the mentoring organizations?

No, all proposals should be submitted to the mentoring organization using the 2011 program site.

 

9. Are mentoring organizations required to use the code produced?

No. While we hope that all the code that comes out of this program will find a happy home, we're not requiring organizations to use the students' code.

 

10. Will a student receive the stipend if the organization does not use her/his code? 

As long as the goals listed in a student's accepted application are met according to the judgment of her/his mentoring organization, the student will receive the stipend whether or not the project uses the code produced.

 

11. What if there is no organization doing the kind of open source work I'm doing?

If you have an outstanding need for an alternate mentor, Google will review suggestions. For instance, suppose you're working in a cryogenics lab and the only ones really qualified to judge your work writing profilers for liquid nitrogen delivery systems are other cryogenicists. In such a case, you can submit your "alternate" project application.

When applying, choose 'Google' as the mentoring organization. Your application should describe who you'd like to oversee your work and include detailed contact information for your proposed mentor. Google's program administrators will then review your application and notify you and your mentor whether your alternate project has been accepted. Please don't apply unless your proposed project has an academic research focus and you've already found an advisor from your university or industry to mentor you.

Please also note that we've accepted less than 5 "alternate" proposals per year historically, and the program doesn't currently have the resources to accommodate many applications outside of the domain of our registered mentoring organizations.

 

Eligibility

1. Are there any age restrictions on participating?

Yes. You must be 18 years of age or older on or before April 25, 2011 to be eligible to participate in Google Summer of Code in 2011.

 

2. Who's eligible to participate as a student in Google Summer of Code?

In order to participate in the program, you must be a student. Google defines a student as an individual enrolled in or accepted into an accredited institution including (but not necessarily limited to) colleges, universities, masters programs, PhD programs and undergraduate programs. You are eligible to apply if you are enrolled in an accredited university educational program provided you meet all of the other eligibility requirements. You should be prepared, upon request, to provide Google with transcripts or other documentation from your accredited institution as proof of enrollment or admission status. Computer Science does not need to be your field of study in order to participate in the program.

 

You may be enrolled as a full-time or part-time student. You must also be eligible to work in the country in which you'll reside throughout the duration of the program, e.g. if you are in the United States on an F-1 visa, you are welcome to apply to Google Summer of Code as long as you have U.S. work authorization. For F-1 students applying for CPT, Google will furnish you with a letter you can provide to your university to get CPT established once your application to the program has been accepted.

 

3. Is my school “accredited”?

 You can read more about accreditation for universities in your country and/or see if your school is listed or you can ask yourself the following questions about your institution:

1) Does your country consider that institution to be a valid university/college/etc capable of bestowing academic awards?

- AND -

2) Does that institution consider you a student to the extent that it issues you with material such as identification cards, or written letters confirming that position?

 If you answered "yes" to both of these questions, your school is most likely accredited. You should contact them and ask to make sure. 

 

4. Who's not eligible to participate as a student in Google Summer of Code?

Google employees, interns, contractors, family members, or residents and/or nationals of Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea and Myanmar (Burma), with whom we are prohibited by U.S. law from engaging in commerce, are ineligible to participate. Mentoring organizations that are taking part in Google Summer of Code may add additional stipulations regarding which students may participate in the program under their auspices. Please see our Program Terms of Service for additional stipulations and requirements.

 

5. What are the eligibility requirements for mentoring organizations?

Mentor organizations must be organizations or individuals running an active and viable open source or free software project whose applications are approved by Google's Open Source Programs Office. Organizations based in Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea and Mynamar (Burma), with whom we are prohibited by U.S. law from engaging in commerce, are ineligible to participate. Please see our Program Terms of Service for additional stipulations and requirements.

 

6. What are the eligibility requirements for mentors?

Google does not have specific eligibility requirements for mentors, as we know our mentoring organizations will be best able to determine the selection criteria for their mentors.

 

7. I have been accepted in to an accredited post-secondary school program, but have not yet begun attending. Can I still take part in the program?

As long as you are accepted into or enrolled in a college or university program as of April 25, 2011, you are eligible to participate in the program. Accepted students will be asked by Google to provide proof of enrollment after acceptance.

 

8. I graduate in the middle of the program. Can I still participate?

As long as you are accepted into or enrolled in a college or university program as of April 25, 2011, you are eligible to participate in the program.

 

9. I am a student who has already participated in Google Summer of Code. Can I apply again this year?

Yes, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements, you are welcome and encouraged to apply for this year's instance of the program. You might also want to consider becoming a mentor instead.

 

10. I would like to participate in Google Summer of Code as both a mentor and a student. Is this possible?

We've given this question a lot of thought, and we've decided it is best not to allow participants to act as a mentor to another Google Summer of Code student while they are working on their own Google Summer of Code student project. We want to make sure that each project and student receives sufficient attention, and we're concerned that this split in focus could create a bad experience for those involved. Please choose whether participation as a mentor or a student is more appealing to you and plan to apply accordingly.

 

11. How much time is required to participate as a student in Google Summer of Code?

 The amount of time you will need depends on both the scope of your project and the requirements of your mentoring organization. While your organization may offer some flexibility around milestone completion dates, you should expect your project to be your primary focus this summer. If you have a great internship starting soon or you're planning a month long backpacking trip, you likely won't be a good candidate for the program.

 

12. How much time is required to participate as a mentor in Google Summer of Code?

While the answer to this question will vary widely depending on the number of students a mentor works with, the difficulty of the proposals, and the skill level of the students, most mentors have let us know that they underestimated the amount of time they would need to invest in Google Summer of Code. Five hours per student per week is a reasonable estimate.

 

Code

1. Who owns the code produced by student developers?

Each student (or her/his mentoring organization) must license all student Google Summer of Code code under an Open Source Initiative approved license palatable to the mentoring organization. Some organizations will require students to assign copyright to them, but many will allow them to retain copyright. If Google is a student's sponsoring organization, then the student keeps copyright to her/his code.

 

2. What licenses do I have choose from?

That depends on your mentoring organization. All code created by student participants must be released under an Open Source Initiative approved license. It's also extremely likely that your mentoring organization will have a preferred license(s) and that you will need to release your code under the license(s) chosen by that organization.

 

3. What language(s) should a student program in?

Talk with your mentoring organization about this and other technical style questions. Of course, the Python people will prefer Python submissions, and so on. Students  should let us know in their applications what languages they're thinking about using.

 

4. Where must development occur?

 All development occurs online; there is no requirement to travel as part of the program. Google makes no provisions for office space or travel to mentoring locations. Any such travel is undertaken outside the scope of the program.

All code development must happen in the open and all code must be made available publicly. Students may mirror development on their personal infrastructure if they wish. Students must also provide a copy of their code to Google to be publicly hosted by us.

Payments, Forms and Other Administrivia

1. How do payments work?

Google will provide a stipend of 5500 USD per accepted student developer, of which 5000 USD goes to the student and 500 USD goes to the mentoring organization.

  1. Accepted students in good standing with their mentoring organization will receive a 500 USD stipend shortly after coding begins on May 23, 2011.
  2. Students who receive passing mid-term evaluations will receive a 2250 USD stipend shortly after the mid-term evaluation deadline, July 15, 2011.
  3. Students who receive passing final evaluations and who have submitted their final program evaluations will receive a 2250 USD stipend shortly after the final evaluation deadline, August 26, 2011.
  4. Mentoring organizations will receive 500 USD per student shortly after the final evaluation deadline, August 26, 2011.

Please note that Google cannot issue any payments until the proper tax-related documentation is submitted. The forms required will be provided to you and you do not need to submit them until you are asked to do so by Google. More detailed documentation on payments forthcoming.

For more details on payments, please see the Program Terms of Service.

 

2. I would like to use the work I did for my Google Summer of Code project to obtain course credit from my university. Is this acceptable?

Absolutely. If you need documentation from Google to provide to your school so you can obtain course credit, we can provide it to you. We will not provide documentation to you until we have received a positive final evaluation from your mentor.

 

3. Isn't it unusual for open source developers to be paid?

 Not really. Many of our mentors get paid to work on open source. Some run their own consultancies, others tinker for some cash on the side, others work for large companies.

That said, we do know it is tricky to introduce cash into the mix of Free and Open Source, but that is why we're working with external organizations with years of collective experience in this kind of thing.

 

4. What documentation is required from students?

We will need the following documentation from students:

  1. For students based in the United States, we will need a completed IRS form W9.
  2. For students based outside the United States, we will need a completed Foreign Certification form.
  3. For all students, we will need a transcript/proof of enrollment in school. Transcripts do not need to be official. 

Detailed instructions for obtaining and returning these documents to Google will be sent to the private students' mailing list. We will need to have all of this documentation on file before issuing payment to a particular student. Please see the program Program Terms of Service for further details.

 

5. What tax related documentation is required from mentoring organizations? 

We will need the following tax related documentation from mentoring organizations or umbrella organizations:

  1. For organizations based in the United States, we will need a completed IRS form W9.
  2. For organizations based outside the United States, we will need a completed IRS form W8-BEN.

All organizations are paid via purchase order from Google, which will require registering as a vendor in our payments system. Detailed instructions for registering as a vendor and invoicing Google for payment will be sent to the private mentors' mailing list. We will need to have all needed documentation on file before issuing payment to a particular mentoring organization.

 

6. I am an accepted student in the United States on an F1 visa. How do I get work authorization to participate?

Please talk to your international student affairs office for more details. In the past, students on an F1 visa have participated in Google Summer of Code through CPT, but you will need to check with your university to see what will work best.

If you need a letter from Google to establish CPT, we will email the documentation to you. More details on how to request a letter for CPT are available here. If there is specific information that must be contained in the letter or there are other instructions for returning it, e.g. it must be faxed to your student affairs office, include this information when requesting the documentation.

Other Questions

1. What are the program mailing lists?

There are four program mailing lists:

  1. Announcement Only List
  2. Program Discussion List
  3. Students List (private; past and current accepted student participants)
  4. Mentors List (private; past and current mentor participants)

Whether you have participated in the past or not, it's a great time to take a look at the Guide to the Program Mailing Lists. If you are a past participant in the program, now would be an ideal time to revisit and update your subscription preferences to the program mailing lists.

 

2. Is there an IRC channel I can idle on?

 Yes. You can get your questions answered real-time and hang out with us in #gsoc on Freenode.

 

3. What can I do to spread the word about Google Summer of Code?

You can download flyers and post them around your campus. We're also asking for community help in translating the flyer, so if you're interested in contributing your skills in localization please check out the program flyer wiki page for further details. You can tweet about the program, make YouTube videos, or host a meetup in your area about the program.

 

4. I would like to organize or host a Google Summer of Code information session or meetup. What is the process for doing so?

Please schedule a meetup at whatever time and place is convenient for you. You can always use our presentation templates to help you prepare for the meetup. If you would like help from Google to spread the word about the meetup in advance, then you can .....

  1. Send a message about the meetup to the Meetups List. Be sure to include as much information as possible, including date & time, location, registration information if needed, etc.
  2. While the program administrators do their best to monitor this list, it is always worth sending a reminder email to us to let us know that the meetup is happening so we can add it to the program calendar and update our social networking sites with the information.
  3. Please send us a blog post for the Google Open Source Blog after the event happens so we can showcase your efforts! We can send you more information about what we look for in a post when you let us know that you have scheduled the meetup.

 

5. Are there other resources for learning about the program?

There are several other resources that may be helpful to you:

  1. You should read our Google Summer of Code student and  organization administrator and mentor manuals online to get a more in-depth look at the program.
  2. You can check out the Knowledge Base Wiki for advice for both mentors and students.
  1. We've created a YouTube channel for students and mentors to upload informational videos, screencasts, and other useful information.
  2. You may also want to check out the Google Open Source blog.
  3. We also have a collection of subject specific program documentation, e.g. for the web app, mailing lists, evaluations, etc.. Some of the documentation references earlier years of the program. However, the data is still useful for historical reference and for those wishing to understand more about the mechanics of the program.

 

6. Where do I file bugs and feature requests for the Google Summer of Code 2011 site?

You can submit bugs and feature requests to the Melange project issue tracker. Please check to see if your problem is already a known issue before submitting a bug report.

 

7. Is there a t-shirt involved?

Yes, all successful participants will receive a Google Summer of Code t-shirt. As part of the application process, we'll ask for your t-shirt size. Your t-shirt will be shipped once you've successfully completed your development work. Successful student participants will also receive a certificate of completion at the close of the program.

 

8. Can I find Google Summer of Code on any social networking sites? 

Yes. You can listen to our notices on Identi.ca, follow us on Twitter, or find us on Facebook.

 

9. What if I have a question not answered in this FAQ?

You can find a lot more information available on the program wiki. If these FAQs and the wiki still don't answer your questions, you can reach the Google Summer of Code program administration team via the Google Summer of Code Discussion Group.