Google Code-in is a contest that introduces teenagers to the world of open source. It takes place entirely online and is open to students between 13 and 17. Now in its seventh year GCI runs until January 16, 2017 and there are task from 17 open source organisations to be completed.
Google Code-In can be a great experience both for students and for open source organizations. Over the last 6 years, 3213 students from 99 countries have successfully completed tasks in GCI. For students who are looking for a career in software development the main reward of Google Code-In is the contact it establishes with mentors within open source organizations. It can lead to participating in Google Summer of Code and there is also the immediate satisfaction of completing worthwhile tasks that require between 3-5 hours.
There are five categories of task and only one student can work on a specific task. Having requested a task and been allocated it, mentors from participating organizations lend a helping hand as participants learn what it’s like to work on an open source project.
Completing tasks win points which count towards prizes:
Students work on one task at a time but can do as many as they can fit into the time period. While some are content simply to earn a certificate for one completed task most participants aim to win at least a tee-shirt, by competing three tasks.
Students can work with one organization or with multiple organizations during the contest, but those who are setting their sights on winning a hoodie (awarded by each organization to five students) or a Grand Prize Trip to Google’s HQ ( two students from each organization) will want to focus their work with one project.
Some of the 17 participating open source organizations are well known globally WikiMedia, Copyleft Games and Drupal. Others have philanthropic aims for example Sustainable Computing Research Group (SCoRe) SCoRe at University of Colombo School of Computing is a research lab that seeks sustainable solutions for various problems developing countries like Sri Lanka face, Mifos Initiative is a FinTech non-profit leveraging the cloud, mobile, and open source community to transform the delivery of financial services to the worlds 2 billion poor and unbanked and Systers, an Anita Borg Institute Community that supports all women involved in computing.
Although the contest lasts to mid-January, 2017 it is worth being quick off the mark to start claiming the tasks you are most interested in.