Contributing to open source can be very rewarding. Apart from doing good and improving your skills, you can win amazing prizes. Do you need motivation to get into open source? Here you have it. Google Summer of Code is a popular program. Having run for 14 years, it has garnered a lot of attention. Unbeknownst to many, there are other open-source programs like Google Summer of Code (GSoC). Some of them are even more lucrative.
Google Summer of Code (GSoC)
Firstly, let’s talk about Google Summer of Code. GSoC is a global program for university students. Through Google Summer of Code, students earn a stipend for contributing to open source projects. Google Summer of Code is big! How big? As big as over 14,000 students in the past 14 years. With Google Summer of Code, you do not need a summer job. Neither should you spend your summer break being idle. Successful Google Summer of Code applicants get a $3000 to $6600 stipend. The program has a duration of 3 months. During this period, students will write code for open-source organizations.
Apart from the cash prize, the GSoC experience will look great on your CV. Moreover, you will learn a lot, as students work with experienced mentors. There are literally hundreds of open-source organizations to choose from when applying. Therefore, you will always have options, no matter your preferred programming language. The minimum age for application into GSoC is 18 years old.
Google Summer of Code eligibility: University students who are 18 years and above.
Google Summer of Code stipend: From $3000 to $6600 per student (varies according to your location)
Google Summer of Code date: Look out for Google Summer of Code 2020 application in February.
Here are some Google Summer of Code alternatives:
1. Google Code-in contest (GCI)
Google Code-in is an online international contest organized by Google. GCI is the best Google Summer of Code alternative for teenagers. GCI introduces teenagers to the exciting world open source. Together with several organizations and the help of an array of mentors, teenagers work on bite-sized tasks. Despite its name, Google Code-in is not exclusively for coders. There are also tasks in the fields of documentation, outreach, research, design, and quality assurance. With many organizations and tasks present, there will always be a task for everyone.
Students are advised to focus on one organization. Each Google Code-in organization chooses two top contributors as winners. For the 2019 competition, 58 winners are expected. That’s a lot, huh? You definitely have the chance to win. Every student who completes up to three tasks get a t-shirt. Finalists will win hoodies. Google Code-in grand prize winners are offered a fully-funded trip to Google HQ. Even more exciting, the winners will be accompanied by their parents or guardians.
If you are above 18 years old, don’t feel left out. You can be a mentor in one of the many organizations. Fortunately, one mentor from each organization also benefits from a sponsored trip to Google HQ.
Google Code-in eligibility: Pre-university students from ages 13 to 17.
GCI Prize: A trip for two to Google HQ in Sans Francisco, USA. Moreover, winners receive swag like T-shirts, hoodies, Google Pixel latest phones, gift cards, earbuds, and trophies. If you can’t attend the trip for any reason, you will be offered $2000 plus other prizes.
Google Code-in date: Google Code-in 2019 competition is currently open! It will run from December 2nd to January 21st.
2. Google Season of Docs (GSoD)
There is the misconception that open-source is meant only for programmers. For that reason, technical documentation does not get enough attention. Google Season of Docs is an open-source program like GSoC, but for technical writers. The accepted writers will be paired with a mentor from his/her chosen organization. They will spend three months writing documentation, tutorials, and others. Google Season of Docs interns receive a $3000 to $6600 stipend.
Google Season of Docs eligibility: Technical writers who are 18 years and above.
Stipend: From $3000 to $6600 per student (varies according to your location).
Date: Google Season of Docs 2019 is currently closed. Look out for Google Season of Docs 2020 application in April.
3. Outreachy Internships
Outreachy is one of the best programs like Google Summer of Code. How would you like to make $5500 in three months from the comfort of your home? Do you want to contribute to Free and Open Source Software? If yes, then set your sights on Outreachy. Outreachy is a remote global internship. It is open to women, LGBTQ+ and other minorities. In addition, all applicants have to be over 18 years old to apply. There are many organizations and projects to choose from. These projects require one or more of the following skills: programming, documentation, user experience, graphical design, illustration, or data science. Moreover, there is also the prospect of scoring a job once the internship is over.
Outreachy internships are open twice a year. The mid-year internship application opens in February. The end-of-year internship application opens in September. In the initial application period, they will do an eligibility screening. After this, they have a contribution period. During this period, the applicants contribute to projects. Finally, organizations running the various projects will select the best contributors as interns. These interns will be paired with an experienced mentor throughout the internship.
Outreachy eligibility: 18 years old and above. Most importantly, Women and LQBTQ+ are welcomed to apply. Anyone who faces under-representation, systemic bias or discrimination in the technology industry of their country can apply.
Outreachy prize: Full-tuition scholarship for women in stem.
Application date: The 2020 Outreachy application period runs from February to March and September to October.
Pro tip: Previous accepted students for Google Summer of Code can not apply for Outreachy. If you want the best of both worlds, you should do Outreachy first.
4. GirlScript Summer of Code (GSSoC)
GirlScript Summer of Code aims to foster diversity and gender equality in technology. GSSoC especially encourages the participation of women in open source. The program is also open to males. It began in 2018, making it one of the newest open-source opportunities out there. Despite being new, GSSoC has gained attention, especially in India. In 2019, the program has about 100 mentors and 1500 registered participants. As the name implies, GSSoC runs during summer. As a program like GSoC, GirlScript Summer of Code also lasts for 3 months. Throughout the program, participants contribute to different projects under the guidance of experienced mentors. The top participants receive exciting prizes and opportunities.
GirlScript Summer of Code eligibility: Open to everyone, no matter your age, gender, and nationality.
GSSoC Prizes: The top three performers will get cash prize. The top 25 performers receive letters of recommendation and internship opportunities.
The top 50 performers will get T-shirts and other swag. In addition, participants with merged pull requests will get digital certificates.
GirlScript Summer of Code Application date: GirlScript Summer of Code 2020 will commence in January 2020.
5. Rails Girls Summer of Code (RGSoC)
Rails Girls Summer of Code is a global open-source programs like Google Summer of Code, aimed at bringing more diversity into Open Source. it welcomes women and non-binary persons as applicants. In particular, the open-source program focuses on advanced beginners who want to go into programming full-time. From July to September, accepted applicants will be paid a stipend to work on an open-source project. Rails Girls Summer of Code is a team challenge. Working in teams of two, students are supported by a mentor and coaches.
Rails Girls Summer of Code eligibility: Open to all people with non-binary gender identities or who identify as women (transgender or cisgender).
Prize: The stipend amount is variable. It depends on where the applicant lives, how much their expenses are, and any special circumstances.
Application date: Rails Girls Summer of Code 2020 is expected to start receiving applications in February.
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