In five years, Google’s Summer of Code program has grown open source awareness as well as built contributors on a global scale. The GSoC 2009 program has announced its list of students for this year’s projects. 1000 students from 70 countries have been selected to work with mentors on over 150 open source projects. The top 5 countries include the US with 212 students, India with 101 students, Germany with 55 students, Canada with 44 students and Brazil with 43 students. India sent in 610 applications from which 101 were selected.
One of my favorite projects Fedora has accepted two Indian students – Satya Komaragiri to work on a WYSIWYG DocBook editor for Fedora documentation and Atul Agarwal to work on an Instant Mirror for Fedora. The GNOME project has accepted one Indian student – Ishan Chattopadhyaya working on Anjuta-Python integration. Other projects with Indian students include Drupal, Eclipse, XWiki, Sahana and SugarLabs. Find out more details on the gsoc-india group.
A focused, incentive based program like GSoC attracts smart students from developing countries. It is a great way to engage budding contributors in open source software projects. But let’s not forget that programs like GSoC must be combined with sustained local efforts in order to create lasting contributors. We need to encourage and organize local activities including open source labs, curricula changes, mentoring programs, development of training material and teacher training. Then India’s participation in open source can only grow.