Celebrating Free and Open Source Software with Google Summer of Code and Outreachy
By Pavithra Eswaramoorthy
Every summer, budding technologists from around the world come together to contribute to Free and Open Source software. At the epicenter of this contribution season are Google Summer of Code and Outreachy — remote activities and internship programs with the goal of getting more people involved in FOSS.
Google Summer of Code is a program for university students, and Outreachy is a program that supports members of underrepresented communities in technology. Participants start by completing an application, where they submit a project proposal for a FOSS organization. Selected participants are then paired with experienced mentors for a period for 3 months, and they spend the summer working on their projects.
Experiences and achievements
Wikimedia has participated as a mentoring organization for GSoC since 2006 and for Outreachy since 2013. This round, we received record-breaking student participation with over 130 total proposal submissions from 13 different countries!
In May, Wikimedia welcomed 17 selected participants and kicked-off the community bonding phase with a ‘Welcome Party’ at the Wikimedia Remote Hackathon 2020.
Participants and mentors worked on projects ranging from test engineering to data science. Webdriver IO, MediaWiki’s test automation framework, was evaluated and upgraded. New features were added to the Commons Android App. Wiki Education Dashboard’s error handling mechanism and efficiency were enhanced. The Page Forms extension, Proofread Page extension, GDrive-to-Commons uploader tool, and WikiContrib tool were improved.
Some new projects were also developed, including a bot for support on Wikimedia’s Zulip, a tool to correct false depicts claims on Wikimedia Commons, and a tool for automating tasks for Wikimedia databases.
Learn more about the projects and outcomes:
Participate in the next round
Contributing to Free and Open Source Software can be fun and rewarding. You can work alongside experienced community members, contribute to real-world projects, and witness the impact of your work first-hand. Moreover, there are various other areas to contribute besides code! For instance, every project needs documentarians, designers, and community builders.
Wikimedia always welcomes new contributors. 🙂 To get involved, select an area that is interesting to you: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/How_to_contribute. Programs like Google Summer of Code, Google Season of Docs, and Outreachy can provide a platform to accelerate your FOSS journey. Learn about Wikimedia’s outreach programs: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Outreach_programs
If you are undecided, have any questions, or just want to hang out with Wikimedians, say “Hi!” to us on Zulip!
Note: The initial applications for Outreachy 2020 winter edition are now open. We are also looking for projects and mentors. For more details: https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2020-August/093759.html
Thank you, organizers, coordinators, and mentors!
This year brought some unique challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic affected people around the world and there were abrupt changes to personal schedules. Yet, our mentors were always ready to help and support the participants. The program organizers at Google and Outreachy adapted to the changes quickly and kept the programs running smoothly. Their hard work was the primary reason behind the success of this season, so thank you!
About this post
A note about the programs featured in this post: Outreachy is an internship program; whereas Google Summer of Code is considered an activity, see: https://developers.google.com/open-source/gsoc/faq#is_gsoc_considered_an_internship_a_job_or_any_form_of_employment
Featured image credit: Sea otters holding hands, John Robertson, CC BY 2.0