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The Google Summer of Code and the Free Software


The list of groups selected to be mentors of the 2011 edition of Google Summer of Code was disclosed. Google invests in students to develop features of free software and open source offering in return for a monetary value of $ 5,000 for the developer and $ 500 for the organization mentor throughout the project schedule.

One of the interesting effects of the Google Summer of Code causes in communities is the influx of new groups of developers directly on them. In fact, the financial incentive draws plenty of attention and mobilizes students (even those who do not believe in free software!) To create a cool design and develop features for the software. After the project ends, usually the developer is still working in the community who chose – he understands how to work with free software is cool, especially because it builds networking, reputation, and to see the effort he undertook was used by others around the world.

A second effect is the distribution of benefits across the ecosystem of free software. For example, a new feature developed for KDE will in future, packaged in many Linux distributions available. Therefore, Mageia, distro I use that is not part of Google Summer of Code, will benefit after the results obtained in the KDE program. Now think this way to all other free software projects that were contemplated, and you have a vision of the medium-term benefits that this initiative offers.

Google is a company that has many fans and many critics. She makes a very good job with their search and their services, almost all free, meanwhile, moves on our privacy, reading our data and sending “personalized advertising”, among other attitudes that do not like much. Nevertheless, credit is given, the Google Summer of Code is a great project to encourage the development and growth of free software, mobilizes communities, renewing members and generates positive results for the entire ecosystem of these and other projects.

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