Google Summer of Code

Revision as of 09:51, 1 September 2011 by (talk)

BRL-CAD has been accepted to participate in the 2008 Google Summer of Code!

Please see our Project Ideas page for a list of project suggestions that are of particular interest to our mentors. There are several other areas of development that are of high-interest as well. Students are welcome to submit their own unique ideas as well and are encouraged to collaborate with our mentors on formulating those projects. Student applications for GSoC 2008 will be accepted on Google's project website between March 24 and March 31 at

Since 2005, Google has run an open source software development program specifically for students called the Google Summer of Code (GSoC). Under this program, Google funds students to write code for open source projects during the northern hemisphere's summer timeframe. The student efforts are focused on projects that they themselves propose to projects such as BRL-CAD, sometimes catering to ideas that the project suggests or ideas entirely of the student's own conception. Student proposals are then reviewed, evaluated, and ranked by the project mentors. Google allocates a certain number of slots to each participating project/organization which in turn determines how many student developers we get to work with.

Getting Started

Preparing an application

There is intentionally no specific format to our applications. BUT... students are strongly encouraged to be detailed, creative, and interactive with the BRL-CAD developers throughout the application process. Proposals that are detailed in their approach and contain useful background information about the individual's abilities and their ideas will generally receive more attention. Applications should specify what they intend to deliver, a reasonable development timeline, and any implementation details that are relevant such as what language(s) are intended to be used. See our Application Guidelines for more details.

Early proposal submission are encouraged as it gives us more time to review the proposal in detail, comment on it, potentially ask for additional input, and iterate with the student on their ideas. Submitting closer to the deadline isn't necessarily a negative consideration as all submissions are predominantly judged on merit, but submitting and discussing early is an advantage for submissions that have similar goals.

Students should propose what they actually want to work on, how they intend to work on it, what they intend to DO, what they know about that task, some details about themselves, etc. Their ability to perform the task is outright presumed by the nature of submitting a detailed application. Students should propose a task that they are comfortable and knowledgeable with performing within the timeframe of the program and considering any extenuating circumstances.

The application review and selection process

Just about every GSoC project receives considerably more project proposals than can be accepted. Each proposal is reviewed, evaluated, and critiqued. Of those applications, only a small subset are selected so keep in mind that the selection process is rather competitive and difficult. This cannot be stressed enough.. It remains rather hard for most projects to narrow down the submissions but in the end we all only have so many slots to work with and the line eventually has to be drawn. Every application gets read multiple times and reviewed in detail. We thank everyone that submits a proposal to work on BRL-CAD.

In the end, submissions are selected according to the overall long-term impact that accepting the proposal can make, perception of the submitter's abilities to complete the task within the program timeframe, general consensus on the technical approach being proposed, and overall interest in having such modifications made to BRL-CAD. Particular notice is made of students that are responsive to questions and readily interactive in the IRC channel or on the mailing list. Communication is a good thing.

Students are expected to interact on the #brlcad IRC channel on the Freenode network, abide by the HACKING rules, agree to the Development Requirements, and focus on providing a clean maintainable implementation.

Thanks for your interest and we look forward to seeing students apply!nnnn