Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
June 25th, 2005
Google Summer of Code


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 almost 9,000 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?


  1. This afternoon, I received my first paycheck ever – from Google of all places.


  1. Albert Trinh

    Congrats, Minh!
    Yeah, that's a pretty good achievement, but you had it coming with all those projects.
    By the way, I'm doing some paid "research" at UC, then doing a medley (and I mean a medley) of things over the rest of the summer.

  2. Oh, I wasn’t complaining about the workload or anything! I’m glad I now have an excuse for getting a “real” job. :^)

  3. Thats awesome. I have added to my summer projects list. The top three are 1)adding four more speakers to my main pc via a reciever and amp. 2)get a teamspeak server running(Im learning about the commands to configure it right now) and 3)get a real website!

    And I also do not have a real job for the summer, leaving plenty of time to get this done.