This guide was originally written during a Book Sprint sponsored by Google and facilitated by FLOSS Manuals. The manual was written in two days but the maintenance of the manual is an ongoing process to which you may wish to contribute. A second sprint occurred in 2010 to update the manual (adding the Org Admin section) and to write the Students Guide (“Flipping Bits not Burgers”).

An update of the manual was done in December 2017 and what was quite impressive is how few changes had to be made as all of the advice the original authors gave in this manual still stand today.

Another update was done in November 2021 to reflect the eligibility and flexibility changes to the GSoC program for 2022.

In October 2017, the guide moved from to GitHub.

How to Contribute to This Manual

See the CONTRIBUTING file in the source repository.

About the Authors

Except where noted, the following individuals were part of both the 2009 and 2010 GSoC Book Sprint. We thank them for their tireless efforts to create this first-of-its-kind volume.

Alexander Pico

Alex works at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco as a Bioinformatics Software Engineer. He holds a PhD in Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics and has over 10 years of bioinformatics experience in data mining, analysis, visualization and integration. Over the past 5 years he has led the GenMAPP pathway analysis project, managing software development and coordinating research projects involving wet lab biologists and senior programmers. Alex is a member of the Cytoscape core development team, a creator of, and a founder of He has also administered GenMAPP’s participation in the Google Summer of Code program for the last 4 consecutive years.

Bart Massey

Bart Massey graduated Reed College in 1987 and spent two years as a software engineer at Tektronix, Inc. He received his MSc in Computer Science from University of Oregon in 1992 and his PhD in 1999 for work with the Computational Intelligence Research Laboratory there. Since then, Bart has taught at Portland State University, where he is currently an Associate Professor, and for the Oregon Master of Software Engineering program. Bart is Secretary of the X.Org Foundation Board; his current research interests include open tech, software engineering, desktop interfaces and state space search.

Jonathan “Duke” Leto

Jonathan is an open source hacker who currently focuses on the Parrot Virtual Machine and Rakudo, Perl 6 on Parrot, as well as being the maintainer of many CPAN modules, many with a focus on scientific computing and cryptography. He first was a mentor for Math::GSL in GSoC 2008 and then became organization administrator for The Perl Foundation’s involvement in GSoC 2009 as well as being the mentor for Math::Primality. Jonathan received a masters in mathematics from University of Central Florida and has published several papers in the field of differential equations. Currently he works in the Bioinformatics sector and consults for Git migrations and training. He enjoys discovering wheels within wheels.

Jennifer Redman

Jennifer is the founder and CEO of Buunabet, a technical consulting company that helps businesses and organizations integrate open source software into their computing infrastructure. Jennifer is currently the Associate Systers-Keeper for Systers, the oldest International online community of technical women. One of the founders of the Systers open source project, she participated in GSoC 2009 and 2010 as an org admin and mentor. Previous careers include canvassing for Greenpeace and as a staff member on a national (and successful) presidential campaign. She also likes to travel and reads a lot of books.

Selena Deckelmann (2010)

Selena is a major contributor to the PostgreSQL project. She founded Open Source Bridge conference, a conference for open source citizens. She helps run PDXPUG, a PostgreSQL Users Group, and is part of Code n Splode, a programming group whose goal is to get more women involved in open source. In her spare time, she likes to mix drinks for her local user groups, and fetch eggs from her chickens.

Carol Smith

Carol worked for the Open Source Programs Office at Google administering the Google Summer of Code program. She worked at Google for 6+ years in a variety of positions. She has a degree in photojournalism from California State University, Northridge and is an avid cyclist.

Malveeka Tewari (2010)

Malveeka is currently a graduate student in the CS dept at UC, San Diego. She participated in GSoC 2009 as a student for Systers and again as a mentor for Systers in GSoC 2010. She is also a member of Systers and WIC (Women in Computing) group at UC, San Diego and has helped in organizing events in her school for engaging and encouraging women in computing. Her favorite past times including hiking, cooking and reading books. She is a big fan of P.G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie.

Stephanie Taylor (2011-current)

Stephanie is the GSoC lead (since 2015) and has worked at Google in the Open Source Programs Office since 2011. Stephanie also led the Google Code-in program for teens that ended in 2020. Stephanie loves adventure travel and discovering the best hot chocolates around the world.

2009 Participants

Olly Betts

Olly is the lead developer of the Xapian search engine library. He’s been working on Xapian for 10 years, and makes a living as a freelance developer and consultant on Xapian-related projects. In GSoC, he’s represented SWIG as a mentor in 2008, and a mentor and co-admin in 2009. Olly is originally from the UK where he studied mathematics and then computer science at Cambridge University, but now lives near Wellington in New Zealand. He once broke a toe falling off a cliff in Majorca.

Leslie Hawthorn

Leslie held various roles at Google before joining the Open Source Programs Office in March 2006. Her first project after joining the team was spinning up Google Summer of Code 2006 and she has managed the program ever since. She also conceived, launched and managed the Google Highly Open Participation Contest, an initiative inspired by GSoC that helps pre-university students get involved with all aspects of open source development. Mentoring in open source communities is one of her personal passions, along with humanitarian uses for open source software. She loves to cook, read and can occasionally be found pining for illuminated manuscripts. She also likes to think of herself as a superb filker.

Facilitation (2009 & 2010)

The Book Sprints were facilitated by:

Adam Hyde

Adam is the founder of FLOSS Manuals and project manager for Booki. FLOSS Manuals is a community of 1500 (at the time of writing) volunteers that create quality free documentation about free software. FLOSS Manuals is pioneering the Book Sprint methodology that enables the development of well written manuals on free software in 2-5 days. Adam has facilitated over 15 Book Sprints on Free Software including Inkscape, OLPC, Sugar, CiviCRM, Firefox, Introduction to the Command Line, Digital Foundations (conversion to free software examples), Ogg Theora, How to Bypass Internet Censorship, Open Translation Tools, PureData, Video Subtitling and now the Google Summer of Code Mentors Guide. Adam is also the Project Manager for the development of ‘Booki’ - the free software Collaborative Authoring Platform (see below).

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