The OSU OSL has been accepted as a Google Code-In mentoring organization!
Yeah, I’m just a wee bit excited. It’s not often a project lets me wear both my ORVSD and OSL “hats”, but today’s announcement is right in the middle of my own personal venn diagram. GCI falls directly between the work I do helping K-12 education use more technology effectively and the work I do with the open source community here at the OSL and through the Google Summer of Code. Not only do we get to help support the open source community by welcoming new contributors, we get to help provide new learning opportunities to the students.
Teachers: here’s a fantastic opportunity to help your students start getting involved with the open source community. Not only do they get the highly-desired Google t-shirt schwag, up to $500 cold hard cash, and a chance at an all-expense-paid trip to Google HQ – an impressive list of prizes on its own – students get some truly valuable long term benefits:
- Experience working with open source professionals on real-world projects. They get to work with real tools and they get to see their work “in the wild” as it’s incorporated into the project.
- An introduction to the open source community in a safe, friendly environment. Google has selected the mentoring organizations based on their experience and reputation for being welcoming and good mentors in the Google Summer of Code program. We’re used to working with smart young people who may not have had a lot of experience.
- They can show future employers that they’ve worked with – and materially contributed to – world class tools like Drupal (which powers whitehouse.gov) and Sahana (crisis management software used during the Haiti earthquake response).
Not all the tasks are programming. We as mentoring organizations are encouraged to have tasks for the students that span a wide range of skill levels and interests. There’s more to participating in the open source community than just writing code:
- Marketing and advocacy – create a logo or flyer for a project, or organize an install-fest on campus.
- Documentation – write a how-to or FAQ on installing or configuring a tool.
- Testing/QA – try out a beta version of a project’s tool and give feedback on how well it works (or doesn’t).