As an open source, free software project, WordPress depends on the contributions of hundreds of people from around the globe — contributions in areas like core code, documentation, answering questions in the support forums, translation, and all the other things it takes to make WordPress the best publishing platform it can be, with the most supportive community. This year, we’re happy to be participating as a mentoring organization with two respected summer internship programs: Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and the Gnome Outreach Program for Women.
Google Summer of Code
GSoC is a summer internship program funded by Google specifically for college/university student developers to work on open source coding projects. We have participated in the Google Summer of Code program in the past, and have enjoyed the opportunity to work with students in this way. Some of our best core developers were GSoC students once upon a time!
Our mentors, almost 30 talented developers with experience developing WordPress, will provide students with guidance and feedback over the course of the summer, culminating in the release of finished projects at the end of the program if all goes well.
Students who successfully complete the program earn $5,000 for their summer efforts. Interested, or know a college student (newly accepted to college counts, too) who should be? All the information you need about our participation in the program, projects, mentors, and the application process is available on the GSoC 2013 page in the Codex.
Gnome Outreach Program for Women
It’s not news that women form a low percentage of contributors in most open source projects, and WordPress is no different. We have great women in the contributor community, including some in fairly visible roles, but we still have a lot of work to do to get a representative gender balance on par with our user base.
The Gnome Outreach Program for Women aims to provide opportunities for women to participate in open source projects, and offers a similar stipend, but there are three key differences between GSoC and Gnome aside from the gender requirement for Gnome.
- The Gnome program allows intern projects in many areas of contribution, not just code. In other words, interns can propose projects like documentation, community management, design, translation, or pretty much any area in which we have people contributing (including code).
- The Gnome Outreach Program for Women doesn’t require interns to be college students, though students are definitely welcome to participate. This means that women in all stages of life and career can take the opportunity to try working with open source communities for the summer.
- We have to help raise the money to pay the interns. Google funds GSoC on its own, and we only have to provide our mentors’ time. Gnome doesn’t have the same funding, so we need to pitch in to raise the money to cover our interns. If your company is interested in helping with this, please check out the program’s sponsorship information and follow the contact instructions to get involved. You can earmark donations to support WordPress interns, or to support the program in general. (Pick us, pick us! 🙂 )
The summer installment of the Gnome Outreach Program for Women follows the same schedule and general application format as GSoC, though there are more potential projects since it covers more areas of contribution. Women college students interested in doing a coding project are encouraged to apply for both programs to increase the odds of acceptance. All the information you need about our participation in the program, projects, mentors, and the application process is available on the Gnome Outreach Program for Women page in the Codex.
The application period just started, and it lasts another week (May 1 for Gnome, May 3 for GSoC), so if you think you qualify and are interested in getting involved, check out the information pages, get in touch, and apply… Good luck!