Want to get more involved in open source over the summer? There’s two programs that you might be interested in then: Google Summer of Code and Rails Girls Summer of Code. Both programs sponsor students to spend their summers working on open-source projects alongside mentors, helping you learn more about contributing to projects. And both are accepting applications right now!

There’s a short blurb about both programs on the unofficial CS wiki, alongside more information about general summer positions.

Google Summer of Code

Application Period: March 20, 2017–April 3, 2017

Probably the better-known program, Google Summer of Code lets you spend 3 months working on a project that you propose alongside mentors from a participating organization. So you’ll go into the summer knowing who exactly you’ll be working with and what exactly you’ll be doing. Some of the participating organizations this year include:

  • SymPy, a Python computer algebra system (much like Wolfram Mathematica),
  • Mozilla, a web company that makes the Firefox browser, Rust programming language, and more,
  • and The Internet Archive, a non-profit working on preserving the Internet and building a library of its content. You can find the full list here.

Rails Girls Summer of Code

Application Period: February 1, 2017–March 8, 2017

Rails Girls Summer of Code is similar to Google Summer of Code, but aims at newcomers and at bringing more diversity into open-source. Their goal is to help you learn valuable skills while getting oriented in the world of open-source projects. You’ll still have a mentor and a project you propose, but you apply with a teammate, so you won’t be going alone. Contrary to the name, this program isn’t only about Ruby on Rails: some participating projects this year are

  • if-me, a non-profit mental health communication app that encourages talking with loved ones,
  • Servo, a Mozilla project working on a next-generation browser engine,
  • and the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit behind Wikipedia. The full list has even more.

If you’re not sure about what to do, find a project you like and reach out! These organizations have lots of project ideas will work with you on your proposal—you’re helping them as much as they’re helping you.

Keep an eye out for a future meeting discussing these programs and more!