Google Summer of Code Introductory Session @ University of Moratuwa
Few years back we had an Introductory Session at University Moratuwa which helped lot of undergraduates to get to know about Google Summer of Code.It was conducted by the past GSOC interns and it was informative and motivational. I decided to carry on that tradition and give something back to the University.
I and past GSOC students manage to organize an awareness session on Google Summer of Code (GSOC) program at University of Moratuwa with the participation of over 150 undergraduates specializing in Computer Science and IT related fields on 7th of December.
GSOC is an international annual program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together over 12,000 student participants and over 22,000 mentors from 118 countries worldwide. Google Summer of Code has produced over 30 million lines of code for 567 open source organizations.
During the session, a number of motivational speeches were delivered by former GSOC participants for encouraging undergraduates to take part in upcoming GSOC programs. Speakers shared their experiences as well as the importance of the exposure they gained via participating in GSOC programs with the audience. Speakers also emphasized the importance of participating in GSOC as a means of receiving public recognition for the work done, and the positive influence this has on landing and succeeding at initial job interviews. It was also pointed out, that GSOC is a great opportunity for expanding professional network which is crucial for career success in today’s highly competitive IT field.
I being a software engineer at Cambio Software Engineering and an Google Summer of Code intern at OpenMRS emphasized on the “legacy” that University of Moratuwa has with Google Summer of Code program. In the past 12 years of Google Summer of Code history , University of Moratuwa has the highest number of GSOC interns in total ( 320 ). I also pointed out the basic structure of the Google Summer of Code program during my session.
Then Manujith Pallewatta who is an undergraduate of the department of computer science and engineering, University of Moratuwa used his presentation to break the common myths about Google Summer of Code.
Harsha Kumara then took the stage and carried on explaining the importance on Google Summer of Code and his experience as a mentor with the OpenMRS foundation. He is a senior software engineer at WSO2.
The next presentation was a technical presentation giving an overview of the basic technologies that you need to know in order to start off Google Summer of Code.This session was conducted by Dammina Sahabandu , Sudheera Palihakkara and Dimuthu Upeksha who were senior software engineers at Adroit Logic.
Pubudu Dodangoda who is a software engineer at Cake Labs did the next presentation showing how he was able to succeed in GSOC proposal by collaborating with seniors and friends. He was strong on the fact that anyone could do Google Summer of Code if they are willing to put in the effort.
The session was concluded by the pro Google Summer of Code intern Ramindu Sanka Deshapriya. He is a Consultant Technology at Virtusa. Apart from Google Summer of Code intern he was the organization admin during Google Summer of Code program for Sahana software foundation. He gave the organization’s perspective on Google Summer of Code and how the selection procedure happens. He also showed the benefits that the interns would get from GSOC.
Apart from the invaluable information the students also got the chance to win amazing Google gifts for answering the questions asked by the presenters.
The speakers focused more on the importance of Open Source development and the benefits students get from participating in Google Summer of Code.Important guidelines on preparatory activities that contribute to increase the likelihoods of getting a proposal accepted at GSOC were also explained by the speakers. Undergraduates were also advised to enhance their public profile by creating and maintaining a personal blog and/or website. In addition to promoting GSOC participation, importance of taking part in hackathons and other national and international coding competitions during the undergraduate period were also highlighted during the session.
Although the audience of today’s initial introductory session was limited to undergraduates of University of Moratuwa, it is expected to expand the audience of future sessions to allow participation by undergraduates from other universities as well.This program is followed by a mentor program for the interested students.
Special thanks goes to Randika Navagamuwa for organizing the event, Janaka Chathuranga for creating the marketing material and Amanda Jayanetti for helping out with this blog post.