Google Summer of Code is a global program focused on introducing students to open source software development. Students work on a 10-week programming project with an open-source organization during their break from a post-secondary academic program.
GSoC is a competitive program. On average 13.46% of proposals are selected every year. While pre-proposal activities are key to improving your chances of success, writing an axiomatic and immaculate proposal is one of the critical steps to get selected for GSoC. There is much you can do to ensure that your project proposal catches the attention of organization reviewers in a positive way. In this blog, I have tried to make this step a tad simpler by proffering an overview of how I had drafted my GSoC proposal that got me selected for GSoC 2020. At the end of this blog, I have provided a template of my GSoC proposal that might help you draft yours.
So let’s dive into how to write a GSoC proposal!
To systemize the proposal, I have divided it into four sections:
- About Me
- About the Project
- GSoC questionnaire
In this section, you write about yourself. You can commence by providing your name and contact details that include your timezone, email, and links to your GitHub and Blogger profiles. Next, you can proceed by giving your educational details that involve the university, college, the degree you are pursuing, field of study, current year, your CGPA till date, and your expected graduation year.
Aforementioned will be followed by your background, where you provide an overview of your interests to date. For example, What motivated you to opt-in to your current course? What are your interests(that may include your technical interests as well as hobbies)? What technologies have you pursued or are aspiring to pursue?
Following that, you can additionally specify your achievements to date. For example, any college competition prize or hackathon prizes or if any publications you may have. Consequently, you must present your community and open-source contributions. You can likewise provide a link to your open-source benefaction.
This section will give the reviewers an idea about you :)
About the project:
This section comprises an overview of the project for which you are writing the proposal. You may begin with an abstract. An abstract includes a comprehensive summary of the entire project. You may draft your own abstract or imitate the idea statement rendered by the organization on the GSoC website.
Ensuing, you have to provide your proposed plan. This will be the most crucial part of your proposal, and it will either make you or break you! Present a detailed approach, and don’t worry if it stretches too long! Incorporate a strategy for everything the idea holds and also how you map to execute it. You can enhance your plan with a snippet of code. If you wish to improve it more, you can code a project prototype that can further be extended and then add it to your proposal(This part will make your proposal stand out from others).
You may also include the product architecture in which you can provide an overview of the project structure(This will depend if you will be creating a product or working on updating the code base of the organization).
In this section, you provide the timeline of the work you will deliver with important milestones during the internship. It is the second most vital part of the proposal. You must explain the distribution of work right from the Community Bonding Period to the Final Submission date. You may commence this section by communicating about what you endeavor to achieve in the community bonding period. You should split up the coding period into shorter periods and describe what you will accomplish in every period. Generally split the time into period intervals of 2–3 weeks. You may also additionally incorporate a timeline plot graph for the coding period, which will make your timeline visually appealing. Creating one using online tools is reasonably simplistic. Likewise, you may also include how you will contribute in the future after GSoC.
Here you answer a few standard questions:
- Have you participated previously in GSoC? When? Under which project?
- Are you also applying to other projects?
- Do you have any prior commitments?
- Are you eligible for participating in the Google Summer of Code program?
Concluding the blog, I hope it will aid you in the proposal process and make it a bit simpler. You can download my GSoC proposal template from here.
May the force be with you ;)