I have participated in Google Summer of Code right from the start in 2005.
Back then, I applied for the Wine project because I had an offer to do an
undergraduate thesis on any work I did during the Summer of Code for Wine.
This probably helped me to actually apply, as the whole thing looked pretty
intimidating. I also applied in the last minute, with only a couple of hours
to go to the submission deadline when I finally finished my application.
Without the focus of writing a thesis, most likely I would have given up
browsing through all the project proposals.
Still, I managed to be accepted into my project and started writing some code
for it. Before I applied, I thought I actually knew how to write C code. For
Summer of Code, I learned programming all over again. My mentor was really
nice and helpful, guiding me through the process of actually creating code
and submitting the patches for Wine. Thanks, Juan, without you I'd still be
stuck to writing "Hello, World" programs.
All in all, Google Summer of Code 2005 was such a nice experience that I
decided to apply again in 2006. This time, I knew what I wanted to work on
and submitted my proposal to the mailing list for feedback before actually
sending in the application. This was really helpful in judging how much
interest there actually was in the feature I proposed. If you decide to come
up with project ideas on your own, it's always good to check with the
mentoring organization if your feature actually makes sense or not.
This year, I decided to actually work for a different mentoring organization
to learn about new things and to meet new people. Again, I sent my own
project idea to the Samba project, and I got some really good feedback. Apart
from other things, I was told that I would bite off more than I could
probably chew during the three months of Summer of Code. When applying, it's
always a good idea to check that it's actually possible to finish what you
Next year, I won't be participating as a student anymore. I finally feel
comfortable enough with all the things I have learned that I want to be a
mentor instead. Participating in the Google Summer of Code allowed me to
become a member of the Open Source society, and I'm looking forward to giving
more students a chance to experience this as well. Thanks to the work I did
on Summer of Code, I now have a job working on Samba and Wine, I get to visit
a lot of conferences and I actually think that I managed to make people's
lives easier. Thanks to Google for giving me the opportunity for all of this.