Summer of WordPress 2010: Act I

Scene: A college classroom

Professor: Is anyone here applying for Google Summer of Code this year? If so, see me after class to discuss getting independent study credit toward your degree.

Jack, a student: Isn’t that a really hard program to get into? Like, hard like getting to level 70 in Modern Warfare 2?

Sophie, a student: I went past 70, I prestiged.

Jack (turning to Sophie): Shut up, you did not!

Sophie: I did, too!

Professor: Not the point, kids. So who’s going to try for a GSoC spot?

Andrea, a teacher’s assistant: There are some great open source projects participating this year. I’d love to see someone from this class get in on the WordPress project.

Jack: WordPress is awesome, but my friend Billy didn’t get chosen by them last year.

Sophie: Billy’s not as smart as he thinks he is.

Jack: You think you could do better?!

Sophie: Of course I do! Any primate could do better than Billy! Or you, for that matter!

Jack: What? I would so beat you out in a coding competition!

Andrea: Sounds like we have the makings of a friendly classroom competition, Prof.

Professor: I think you’re right, Andrea. Tell you kids what. They announce the students who’ve been accepted on April 26th, which is before the semester ends. Let’s turn this into a class project.

Jack (raising a suspicious eyebrow): How do you mean?

Professor: As a class assignment, everyone has one week to write a project proposal for the Google Summer of Code, specific to the WordPress project. The proposals will be graded like a regular assignment. Anyone who gets an A on the proposal can use me as a reference if they apply with the proposal to WordPress and Google for the program. The application deadline is April 9, so you’ll have time to revise your application after it’s been graded.

Sophie: What’s in it for us?

Andrea: If you’re successful in GSoC you earn $5000 for the summer.

Sophie (smirking, to Jack): That’s more than you’ll make working the hot dog cart by City Hall.

Jack: You wish. I’m totally getting in, and you’ll be on the hot dog cart this year.

Professor: And as I was starting to say in the first place, a GSoC project would qualify for independent study credit. Tell you what, as an added bonus, anyone who actually gets accepted into the WordPress GSoC program will get extra credit points on their year end average.

Sophie (perking up): Really? I’m in!

Jack: No way, they’ll choose me first!

Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Jack and Sophie as they navigate the course of applying to Google Summer of Code to work with WordPress.

That’s right, WordPress is honored to be among the 150 open source organizations chosen to participate in Google Summer of Code this year. Students work on WordPress projects over the summer under the guidance of mentors from among the WordPress core developers, and if they complete their projects successfully Google pays them $5000! Talk about a win-win. Last year’s projects led to some very cool code being created, like the new search API targeted for version 3.0 and the Elastic theme generator.

Professors: Help us and your students by telling them about GSoC and encouraging them to apply. Consider having them write a WordPress plugin or core patch as a class assignment so they can get to know the codebase. Offer to sign on as an adviser for a summer independent study so they can get credit for their work with GSoC.

Students: Check out our Ideas page, and start thinking about projects you’d like to propose. Watch this space for an announcement of some live chat information sessions where you can ask potential mentors questions and get feedback on your pre-proposal ideas. This program is competitive, but is one of the best opportunities out there when it comes to programming. You get real-world experience as a member of an open source community, you make decent money, you make connections with industry leaders, and you get the attention of Google. Not to mention some serious bragging rights. What are you waiting for? Applications will be accepted from March 29-April 9, so start thinking about a project now!

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