Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on March 25th, 2009

For the Love of Code!

For the fifth year in a row, Drupal was invited back as a mentoring organization for Google’s Summer of Code (GSoC) 2009. Drupal will be one of a handful of the 150 confirmed organizations returning for their fifth consecutive year as a mentor for the three month “coding camp”.

As a mentoring organization, Drupal is expected to provide:

→ Project ideas for students to choose from, publicly published by the organization as an “Ideas” list
→ An organization administrator to act as the project’s main point of contact for Google
→ A person or group responsible for review and ranking of student applications
→ A person or group responsible for monitoring progress of each accepted student and to mentor them as the project progresses... and a back-up person or group, in case of an emergency
→ Written evaluations for each student participant, including teamwork and whether they should be invited back the next year

Drupal currently hosts a forum on their website that is open for project idea submissions to be considered for implementation at GSoC 2009. The projects range from improving methods for Drupal analytics and developing a Drupal social networking framework to creating an event management system and an automatic and manual conflict resolver.

If you are not familiar with GSoC, it is a program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects. The program works with open source, free software, and technology-driven groups to identify and fund projects over a three month period. Since its debut in 2005, GSoC has hosted nearly 2,500 students and 2,500 mentors from nearly 100 different countries worldwide, all for the love of code.

The goals of GSoC is simple:

→ Create source code and release it for the benefit of all
→ Inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development
→ Help open source projects identify and bring in new developers
→ Provide students with the opportunity to get experience
→ Give students exposure to real-world software development scenarios

Although it is not the program’s main focus, it is a great recruiting tool as well for code and software development companies to find the bright young students that have the potential for greatness. A proverbial ‘techie’ combine, per say. I would recommend bringing your ‘A’ game, if you are going to participate as a student or a mentor. It’s quite obvious, if you are a student. Potential employees swarming you with potential real-world projects that could land you that six figure job. If you are a mentoring organization, think about this: In this economy, every new hire is even more important than it was previously. You want the brightest young talent to want to work for you, right!? Rick Nielsen said it all in an early Cheap Trick track: “I want you to want me...” It’s going to be a great experience for students and mentors alike at GSoC 2009, and Drupal plans to make the most out of it, all for the love of code!

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