Coding the summer away
Google, our favorite search engine company, is hosting the first-ever Summer of Code, in which 410 college students (including incoming freshmen) get $4,500 for completing an open-source project for one of the 41 participating “mentor” organizations. Sorry for not telling you about it until now: the deadline for registering was the 14th. (If you’re into programming and stuff, you should’ve heard of it by now anyways.)
We were told on the FAQ that we would find out our admission status “by June 24th.”
So we wait until yesterday, and still no one has gotten official word from Google (a few had received some unofficial correspondence from their mentor, however). Then Chris DiBona from Google tells us via the mailing list to wait until “late in the night on Friday.” So we wait, expecting to find out by midnight. Then someone chimes in, informing us that they probably use PDT (UTC−7), pushing my plans back by three hours.
So by three in the morning, we were all sleeping at our keyboards, waiting anxiously for the news. Chris replies to someone’s post, saying that although their headquarters are in Mountain View, they happen to have a sales office in Hawaii. How convenient. I go back to bed. At least the e-mail arrived in my inbox by the time I woke up, late this morning. And they saved me the suspense: the subject simply read “Congratulations!” I get $500 in startup funds, once I fill out a W-9 form from the IRS.
I don’t blame the nice folks at Google for the delay: this is the first time something quite like the SoC has ever happened. Culling the 410 best from
around 6,000 applications is probably a hard task, and I’m glad that they took the extra time to get it right.
My project will be primarily to translate Mozilla Firefox into Vietnamese, something that should’ve happened by now anyways. If I finish early, I’m also planning to implement a special IME that’ll make it easier to type in languages that use the Latin alphabet with accent marks, such as Spanish and Vietnamese. It’ll be my little drop-in-the-bucket contribution to the Mozilla project. (The Mozilla Foundation itself isn’t participating in the SoC, but mozdev is.)
So, that’s what I’ll be doing over my summer break (in addition to two time-consuming web development projects). You?