Dad: Well, Billy, another school year is coming to a close. No more college parties, just another summer here at home. What will you do all day?
Billy: Oh, I dunno. I’ll probably work on my blog or something.
Dad: You need more direction! That blog is just your generation’s answer to comic books.
Billy: On the contrary, Dad, working on my blog utilizes my skills in programming, design, writing, critical thinking, and all sorts of other liberal artsy things that you’re paying those professors to teach me.
Dad: If only there were a more practical application for those skills, one that could lead you to fame and fortune!
Billy: Where’ve you been living, Dad? My skills are totally in demand in today’s questionable economy. An awesome WordPress developer is worth his/her weight in gold. Lead, even.
Dad: What is this WordPress?
Billy: Only the greatest open source publishing platform ever created. It’s what runs my blog. I like to fiddle around with the code and come up with cool hacks that make mine better than the average College Joe’s.
Dad: I had no idea you were that capable.
Billy: Duh, Dad. I’ve been using WordPress for a couple of years now. I could practically teach a course on it, though there are definitely things I could learn from the lead devs. They are like kings.
Dad: Hm. That kind of ability ought to be worth something. Seems like there would be programs in place for kids like you to utilize your skills while being nurtured by people like these lead kings.
Billy: Lead devs, Dad. Not lead kings.
Dad: Maybe you could apply for an internship or something, earn a little money this summer instead of just spending mine.
Billy: Well, there is this one thing like that.
Dad perks up.
Billy: The Google Summer of Code lets college students work with lead developers on a bunch of open source projects, you can get college credit for it, and if you do a good job, you can earn up to forty-five hundred bucks over the summer. And WordPress is one of the participating projects.
Billy: But it’s pretty competitive. My friend Joe applied last year and didn’t make the cut. I can improve my skills just by fiddling around on my own this summer without the rejection, thanks.
Dad: Don’t be lame! You said yourself you’re awesome. And that you could learn from the kings. And that you could earn over FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. Life is full of rejection, kid. Best way to get over that is to make yourself so awesome that no one wants to reject you. And know that even if they do reject you, there’s always next time.
Billy: I dunno, Dad.
Dad: Tell you what, if you apply, I’ll give you $500 toward that car you’ve been wanting, whether you’re accepted into the program or not. And if you get in and complete it successfully, I’ll match that $4500. I’d be so proud of you. And the bragging rights at work! My kid, a Google engineer!
Billy: I wouldn’t actually be a Google engineer, Dad.
Dad: Oh be quiet. Do you think Harold in shipping knows the difference?
Billy: Okay, Dad, I’ll do it!
Dad: That’s my boy.
College students! Don’t wait for your parents to bribe you; apply to the Google Summer of Code program now! For the third year in a row, WordPress is participating, and this year we’ve got project suggestions ranging from core functionality to plugins and BuddyPress development. You name it, we want you to propose it. It’s true, competition is fierce, but hey, if you’re already hacking WordPress, you’re ahead of the pack as far as we’re concerned. Applications are being accepted as of today, and the deadline is on April 3, 2009. For more information, check out the WordPress Codex GSoC2009 page, where we suggest some projects and let you know who our kingly mentors will be this year. The GSoC FAQ is also a good place to get an overview of the program. To apply, head to the Google Summer of Code application site. Remember, we want *you* to work on WordPress this summer! And College Janes, this isn’t just for College Joes. Female applicants encouraged to apply!