Pre-university software engineering enthusiasts between 13 and 17 years of age will be delighted to learn of Google’s annual contest to introduce middle- and high- school students to the many kinds of contributions that make open-source software development possible. The American multinational corporation, which provides numerous internet-related products and services ranging from cloud computing software to advertising technologies, has teamed up with ten open source organizations including Apertium (an open-source machine translation engine), Haiku (an open-source operating system), and SugarLabs (an open-source platform dedicated to providing each child with an equal opportunity for quality education) to mentor and provide tasks for its third annual open-source coding competition.
Google Code-In is an annual, 8-week long contest designed to encourage and inspire pre-university students to being participating in open source development. The competition, which welcomes participants internationally, introduces interested students to open source project development. To participate, students simply register for a profile, and work to complete “tasks”—bite-sized pieces of work designed to appropriately challenge students while providing an opportunity for them to employ their theoretical knowledge.
Google Code-In’s tasks include writing actual code (writing or refactoring code), documentation and training (creating and editing documents which help others learn more about code), outreach and research (tasks related to community management, marketing, or studying problems and recommending solutions), quality assurance (ensuring that code is of high quality through testing and in-depth examination), and user interface (tasks related to user experience research or interface design and interaction).
Students earn one point per completed task; certificates will be awarded to students who complete at least one task, and will earn a t-shirt for completing three tasks. At the end of the 8-week period, each of the ten open-source mentoring organizations will name two grand prizewinners—students who deserve recognition for contributions throughout the contest. These twenty students will receive a trip to Google’s US Headquarters in Mountain View in California, with an opportunity to attend an awards ceremony, meet with Google engineers, and explore the Google campus.