Plone Chosen for Google Summer of Code 2011

Summer came early for the Plone community last week with the announcement we've once again been selected to participate in Google Summer of Code (GSoC).

Each year, Google's Summer of Code program funds university students around the world with stipends of $5000US to spend 12 weeks working on advancing open source projects.  With news of Plone acceptance, we're accepting applications from students interested in being involved, as well as mentors to help oversee their work. You can see a list of some of the ideas which have been put out there for student projects on the Plone Summer of Code Ideas Page.

Leading Plone's GSoC effort this year is Kevin Kalupson, a long time Plone community member and technologist who traces his programming roots back to the Apple II.  Kevin was the first full-time employee of Penn State's Weblion group and has been involved with Plone since version 2.0 when he got a PloneLive CD that was given out at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

Kevin takes on the leadership role handled admirably until this year by Matthew Wilkes, and its a role he isn't taking lightly.  His goal for this year?  Successfully doing up to 8 projects which will improve Plone and help encourage students interested in becoming active participants in the Plone community.

According to Kevin,  "Each interested student has to make a proposal to sell us on the idea of how they would attack an idea, the resources they would use and what they would do for us.  Students can get their ideas from those the community puts out there - or they can also come up with their own ideas and submit them to us themselves."

The bottom line? "Its something they can do in 12 weeks instead of washing dishes for the summer that will give them real experience creating something that's tangible. I also imagine that if you can put Google on your resume at age 22, that is something that will help you stand out in the crowd when you are looking for a job."

The Plone community has participated in GSoC for the last several years - including four successful projects completed by students who were involved last summer.  Now that Plone has been selected, the real process begins - identifying projects, mentors and students interested in taking on projects. Kevin is particularly interested in getting the right mentors for the program. Mentoring a GSoC project isn't just about reading an email now and then - its about helping provide resources to students, providing some handholding to get started - and mentoring and teaching is definitely involved.  He encourages anyone interested in being a mentor to contact him.

Students interested in applying can find out more on the GSOC website or getting feedback on their ideas on Plone mailing lists and IRC at #plone.  The deadline for applications is April 8th - so students are encouraged to submit theirs well in advance of that date.