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 a great opportunity for students who may have difficulties leaving their home countries to work with an international community of software engineers. Specific details of the program can be found on the GSoC website.
Due to the recent organizational changes at OSRF we decided to play it safe this year and take on a smaller batch of students than in previous years. We want to make sure that the students we do accept this year have a great experience, and that we have the time to support the students properly. For 2023 we plan to accept three GSoC students: one for Gazebo and two for ROS 2. Full details about our available projects can be found on this Github page. The main Open Robotics GSoC application portal can be found here.
A full timeline for this year’s GSoC program can be found on this website. Briefly, the timeline for this year’s GSoC program is as follows:
- February 22 - March 19 – GSoC students and mentors discuss project ideas
- March 20 – GSoC Applications Open
- April 4 – GSoC Applications Close
- May 4 – Accepted Students Announced
- May 29 – Coding Begins
If you are interested in robotics but don’t see any projects that suit your interests you may also want to consider applying to some of our sibling organizations like OpenCV and MoveIt.
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 show our mentors that you are ready to start coding for the project. Many ROS and Gazebo repositories have issues tagged “good first issue”, and they are great for students looking to familiarize themselves with our development process. Our mentors 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. 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 perfection. 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 discuss GSoC. Questions about GSoC 2023 should be kept on ROS Discourse, preferably in this thread or using the #GSoC2023 tag in the ROS Projects category. Additional questions or concerns can be directed to: email@example.com