The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and spring is in the air! That can mean only one thing, it is time to get ready for Google of Summer of Code (GSoC). If you are not familiar with GSoC it is a remote first summer internship program for open source software projects sponsored by Google. GSoC is a great opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to gain experience developing software and contributing to open source projects. In particular GSoC is great opportunity for students who may have difficulties leaving their home countries to work with an international community software engineers. Specific details of the program can be found on the GSoC website. If you are curious about what it GSoC looks like for ROS and Gazebo you can find out more about last year’s program on the Open Robotics blog.
This year ROS 2 and Ignition Gazebo community will be taking on ten different proposed projects and enhancements. The main application portal through google can be found here, while the full list of projects and the application template can be found on this github page. The application period starts on March 16th, 2020, and ends March 31st, 2020 so don’t delay. If you are interested in robotics but don’t see any projects that suit your interests you may also want to consider applying to the MoveIt GSoC program and the OpenCV GSoC program.
Students often ask how they can improve their chances of being accepted to GSoC. We always recommend starting off with a strong application. Other than that here are a few recommendations:
Familiarize yourself with the project you want to work on. Pull down the latest version, build it from source, and try to do something interesting with it. Try adding a feature or fix a bug. Write about what you find.
Assist the maintainers but don’t get over your head. Small pull requests that address minor issues are a great way to start. We want to see that you can put together a complete pull request and work well remotely.
Do cool and interesting stuff and write about. It doesn’t have to involve ROS or Gazebo and can be a school project. What we’re looking for is that you have the basics of software development down and that you are working to improve your written communication skills.
Remember that we’re not looking for perfect. We’re looking for students who work hard, try new things, and learn from their mistakes.
One final note, please use the correct channels to talk about GSoC. Questions about GSoC 2020 should be kept in this thread or sent directly to <gsoc [at] osrfoundation.org>