Google Summer of Code moves in phases after you are accepted. The first phase is the Community Bonding Period (~3 weeks) in which you get to know your community and get familiar with their code base and work style. The next phase is the initial phase of coding (Phase 1) which is evaluated with a midterm evaluation from your mentor halfway through the Google Summer of Code term. The final phase is your time to complete your project (the final half of the program). There will be a final evaluation at the end of the term; you will also need to submit a URL to your work product.

Evaluations

Evaluations are not as daunting as they may sound. This is an opportunity for you to evaluate your mentor and your mentor to evaluate you, not a quiz on your coding abilities. Some mentors even choose to review their evaluations afterward with the GSoC contributor in order to integrate the feedback into the coding process for the rest of the term. Be honest about your experiences with the program. This helps GSoC improve in future years. Remember, you must complete your evaluation of your mentor at the final phase or you will receive an automatic fail.

Payments

Payment is in two pieces. The first payment is sent shortly after you pass the midterm evaluation. The final payment is sent once you pass your final evaluation. Both of these payments can take a few business days to become active in your Payoneer account (which can be linked to your bank account).

Certificate of Completion

You may receive a digital certificate of completion at the end of the program if you successfully pass GSoC.

The rest of your experience with the program will be determined by your interactions with the community within your mentoring organization. Most GSoC contributors consider the interactions with their mentor and the rest of the open source community they’re involved with to be the most important part of the Google Summer of Code experience.

Participant Roles

There are four roles in the Google Summer of Code program:

GSoC contributor

This is you! A GSoC contributor is a new contributor to open source. This person could be a university student, a recent graduate, a person switching careers, a developer early in their career, person returning to the workforce, etc. GSoC Contributors come from a variety of academic backgrounds - many are university students or graduates of coding schools or programs, while others are self-taught.

Organization Administrator

Org admins are the “cat herders” for GSoC open source projects. Some org admins also mentor GSoC contributors during GSoC. Org admins are the final authority about matters such as which GSoC contributor projects will be accepted and who will mentor whom. If you’re having difficulties communicating with your mentor or making progress, an org admin can help.

Mentor

Mentors are people from the community who volunteer to work with a GSoC contributor. Mentors provide guidance such as pointers to useful documentation, code reviews, setting milestones for the GSoC contributor, etc. In addition to providing GSoC contributors with feedback and pointers, a mentor acts as an ambassador to help GSoC contributors integrate into their project’s community.

Program Administrator

Program administrators are employees of Google’s Open Source Programs Office who run the program. These folks do a variety of tasks: select the participating open source projects each year, create and analyze the program evaluations, administer the program mailing lists, ensure that participants are paid, respond to inquiries about the program. Program administrators do not select which GSoC contributor proposals are accepted into Google Summer of Code.

Afterward

It is a primary goal of Google Summer of Code that the GSoC contributors stick around long after the program has ended and continue contributing to their project communities. Great mentors continue working with their GSoC contributors and encourage them to stay actively involved and may help them find a new, fun project to tackle in their community. In the end, mentors and GSoC contributors take a well-deserved break before the GSoC cycle starts again.

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