Yesterday, Campus Party officially started for Google. During the following days, several presentations - both technical and non-technical - are planned about various subjects (Mapplets, Gadgets, Youtube API, ...). A subject that will be heavily talked about during the Campus Party is the Google Summer of Code (GSoC).
The Google Summer of Code is a program initiated by Google in 2005 to encourage students to work for open source projects. In return they get a mentor who guides you through the summer, some funding and many opportunities. Since the beginning of the GSoC, over a thousand of students have participated in the GSoC. Together, they have literally created millions lines of code.
In 2006, I participated in the GSoC as a student. My mentoring organization was Joomla!, an open source content management system. The project I worked on is called SITEman, an application framework written in Java that allows end-users to administer their website from a desktop environment. This has certain advantages, such as offline editing.
This year I'm mentoring a collaboration project between Eclipse and Joomla!. The goal of this project is to create an Eclipse distribution that eases the development of Joomla! extensions. An extension can be a weblog, an e-commerce system, ... The only limitation to develop your own extensions, is your own imagination!
I'd highly recommend participating in the GSoC. You don't need to be a developer to be part of an open source project. Every project has many roles in their community, such as content writers, translators, ... If you think you can contribute in any way, just apply for the GSoC. Sign up for the GSoC mailing list, start posting on forums. Start communicating with the community and get integrated in the project. After all, isn't this what open source is all about?
To see the slides from Laurens´presentation, click on the following link: Slides
To find out more about Google´s Summer of Code programme, come to the GoogleHack area at Campus Party at 2000 tonight, where another Coder will speak about his experience!