Popular Misconceptions about Google Summer of Code, Google Code In, Season of KDE

And so forth. There used to be programmeerzomer as well… KDE is in again as a mentor organization, which is utterly great! But it’s also a good moment to put some things straight.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen a rising number of misconceptions about these programs. One of the most pernicious is that some people have started to think that Google Summer of Code is the only approved way to start working on a cool project.

This is Not True.

But lots of people seem to think it is. It isn’t even true that it’s the only way to get mentored when you start working in an open source project. That’s a related, but just as common misconception. It depends on the project, perhaps, but at Krita and Calligra we are totally prepared to spend the same amount of time on you when you want to get into hacking on our projects no matter what the reason is. People have learned not just our code, but even C++ in our irc channels and on our mailing lists. Everyone is welcome, the year round. The only thing needed is an itch and passion for the project.

Another misconception is that the Ideas page is the sum of all admissable ideas for Google Summer of Code project proposals. It is nothing of the kind. It’s what we came up with that we think would be cool, but if you are passionate and you propose something out of the box, there’s a huge chance that we’ll think it even cooler, and you will get ranked high!

And note that there are generally speaking between ten and twenty proposals per slot. Even if you engage with us, make sure we know you well — there’s no guarantee of selection. But note that you will still be allowed to work on the project, even if Google doesn’t pay you for it! Most project members never see any money for their work.

The final misconception I want to mention is the “it’s a summer job” idea. Nope. Not at all. You write the code, your code goes into a release — and Krita always makes students work with git master, so your code will go into the next release — and then it’s your responsibility to maintain it. And to broaden your engagement with the project beyond the project you coded for. We are looking for people who will stay with the project for many years to come. If you are in it for the three months of paid work, please reconsider.

And now start engaging with us, discuss your cool ideas, start fixing bugs already and make sure we love and trust you before the time arrives for us to rank your project proposals!