I participated in Google Summer of Code back in my University days in 2019 where I contributed to Processing Foundation's project p5.js.
I wrote this post to help you understand what GSoC is and how you can participate in it in 2023. I will also share some of my tips to apply at the end of this post!
GSoC is an online program organized by Google every year to bring new contributors to open source. The program is usually 12 weeks long (or 3 months) where accepted contributors work on an open source project under the guidance of mentors during the summer and receive a stipend based on their location.
According to the website:
- You must be at least 18 years of age when you register
- You must be eligible to work in the country you will reside in during the program.
- You must be an open source beginner or a student. (Earlier only students could participate)
- You have not been accepted as a GSoC Contributor/Student in GSoC more than once.
- You must reside in a country that is not currently embargoed by the United States. See Program Rules for more information.
- GSoC Contributors who have been accepted once may apply to participate in 2023
The applications for GSoC contributors starts from March 20, 2023 and ends on April 4, 2023. However, the participating organizations will be announced earlier than the beginning of the application period, i.e. February 22, 2023.
You can find the complete timeline for the program here.
The stipend amount varies depending upon your project size and your location. It can range anywhere from 1500$ to 6600$. The stipend is paid in two parts, after each successful evaluation. You can find the exact amounts for your location using this link.
Once you find a project (or two) that you like, you can start discussing with the mentors about your ideas and tell them that you want to apply for that particular project.
To apply, you must submit a project proposal describing the project details, deliverables, your past experience etc. It took me some digging in my inbox but I've found a draft of my proposal that you can use as a template :)
You can submit up to three proposals but you should focus on quality more than quantity. You can find the official contributors guide here.
Once the participating organizations and projects are announced, you can start contributing to them even before the application period begins. Sometimes, contributors start contributing even months in advance so it's never too early!
Here's a guide to Making Your First Open Source Contribution if you're a complete beginner to open source.
You can check out the organizations and projects that participated in the past years in the archive. Usually the organizations would participate again the next year but there is no such guarantee!
Pick a project that's not too overcrowded with beginner contributors otherwise you'll find it hard to find beginner-friendly issues as there will be more people wanting to pick those issues.
Select a project that fits well with your skills. You should be able to contribute to the project and yet learn something new at the end of the program.
It's important that you contact the mentors as they'll be the ones deciding who is going to be accepted to the project. You should also ask for their feedback on your proposal before you actually submit.