Today’s blog focuses on this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC). GSoC is an international program founded by Google in 2005 with the purpose of bringing together open-source organisations, and developers interested in contributing to open-source software and getting an “exposure to real-world software development techniques”. Host organisations list project ideas, and applicants discuss these ideas directly with mentors from the organisations and devise a project proposal to Google, who issue a small stipend to successful applicants.
EMBL-EBI’s Genome Assembly and Annotation (GAA) section, which includes Ensembl, has been a GSoC mentor since 2016. The GAA is one of 198 open-source organisations who have undergone rigorous application and selection processes to ensure GSoC applicants, also referred to as contributors, are receiving the best possible mentorship for their projects. We are grateful that we have once again had the opportunity to work with Google and help contributors realise their projects. Every year we receive applications from candidates who want to learn more about writing open-source software. And as of 2022, Google has also welcomed applications not just from students, but anyone over the age of 18 with an interest in open-source software development.
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a programme that has been set up by Google to introduce students to open source software development. It links students to open source organisations such as Ensembl. The students work remotely with their GSoC project mentors during the university summer break and get paid for it by Google. Both students and organisations go through a rigorous application and selection process. It ensures that the students are among the very best and that the organisations are committed to mentoring them and their projects effectively. We think that GSoC is a great programme for students as well as Ensembl as an open source organisation and are glad that we had the opportunity to be part of it again this year!
For the third year in a row, we’re lucky to have student developers working with us as part of Google Summer of Code. We’ve got three GSOC-ers this year, working on some really exciting projects: Zeyu Tony Yang, working on primary genome analysis, Nabil Ibtehaz, working on transcript-level orthology and Somesh Chaturvedi, working on retrieving reference sequences with APIs.
GSOC is a project set up by Google that places students in open source projects to take on a short independent coding project, and pays them for it. We have to pass rigorous selection criteria to be allowed to offer projects on GSOC, and the students have to be selected by both Google and us to take part. It means the GSOC-ers are the Top Gun of student developers. We think this is a really great opportunity, both for open source projects like us, who get a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at something that we’ve maybe put on the back-burner, and for the students, who get experience working on a real-world coding project during their university summer break.