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Google Summer of Code Extends to Highschoolers 79

phobonetik writes "Building on three successful years of engaging University students with over one hundred open source projects, the Google Summer of Code program is being complemented with the Google Highly Open Participation Contest, launched today. Running initially as a pilot involving 10 open source projects, the contest is open to any student enrolled in highschool education. Students choose from a list of several hundred predetermined tasks that improve the open source project, and get paid small sums for their successful completion. At the end of the contest (4th Feb 2008), each of the ten open source projects nominate their best contributor, who wins a grand prize." I wish there would have been something like this when I was in high school... I wonder how great my BBS door games would have been if there was a chance of getting cash and trips.
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Google Summer of Code Extends to Highschoolers

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  • by monkeyboythom ( 796957 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @12:07PM (#21505473)

    Students choose from a list of several hundred predetermined tasks that improve the open source project.

    Thank god. If they had their own projects to work on, I don't know if I could handle any more "technology advancements" to MySpace.

    Not that I ever lurk there, you know...

    • I just feel bad for the Google employees who have to go through all that code with a red pen. Are they going to be graded on style too?
      • Most of the tasks I've seen so far weren't coding, they were to do with documentation, tutorials or examples, and the projects themselves have people correcting the entries, not google AFAIK
  • by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @12:10PM (#21505529) Homepage Journal
    Just curious, what door games did you write?
    • by maxume ( 22995 )
      Taco typed that.
    • Well it was CmdrTaco who mentioned building stuff during High School, but come to think of it, had Google extended the newly launched High School contest even further, to grade/elementary/primary school I could have entered, but that would have needed to have been launched before Google got big :)

      Back in my day I wrote a large number of QuickBasic (compiled as soon as they got to a certain size) and Borland C programs; which would cover the spectrum of multiplayer addons to games like Doom (and later Quak

      • Sorry, didn't realize that Taco had editorialized there.

        I too might have been interested in a Summer of Code project in high school. I was big into BBSes then (I graduated high school in 1994) and had begun writing a Star Wars text-based space combat door game in Turbo Pascal. It was a lofty project that feature creeped its way out of my humble programming skills and I lost interest before long. However, I really enjoyed writing user instructions and story prose and went on to study Technical Communic
  • I call first turns on BRE, L.O.R.D., and Swords of Chaos, Usurper, etc..

    Oblig Sov quip.

    In Soviet Russia, The BBSs Call YOU!
  • by pintpusher ( 854001 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @12:12PM (#21505563) Journal
    ... when I was in highschool. I ended up putting off my CS education until now (20 years later) because after I'd maxed out the available options in highschool (and they were really good too...) I couldn't bear *repeating* it all in college and ended up dropping out. I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment. Something like this would probably have helped catapult me past that point and into a real career in CS... where I've belonged this whole time.

    Granted there were opportunities even then (class of '88 here). My first two jobs were computer oriented. One was teaching a introductory programming class at the local library and the other was writing some code for the school district (got $600 for that!!). But even so, the opportunities were few and far between. The result is that I'm now fully qualified to operate the bar at the engineering/cs dept mixers ;-)
  • Summer? (Score:3, Informative)

    by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @12:17PM (#21505637)
    Its winter here in the northern hemisphere. In less than a montht it will be the shortest day.
  • Google Summer of Code Extends to Highschoolers [...] At the end of the contest (4th Feb 2008) [...]

    So is this the southern hemisphere version, or are they predicting summer will have already shifted around to February due to global warming?

    • by Surt ( 22457 )
      Heh, where I live, people are wondering about the record mild fall we're having. With only ~25 days to go to winter, we haven't had a cold day yet, and only one half-hearted sprinkling of rain. Haven't had a november so mild in recorded history. If this is global warming, I'm all for it.
      • by xaxa ( 988988 )
        The cold is really useful for some things -- e.g. killing insects. If they aren't killed because of the cold, they survive through to the spring and become a much bigger problem (eating crops, disease etc) than usual.

        Water falling as snow (and staying as snow through the winter) melts through the spring, if there's less snow the supply of water will be reduced.
  • Google wins again--they are so danged smart. They're not only getting a bunch of highschoolers into coding but they're orienting them to like Google. As if that were not already a done deal.
  • I can finally use my 16-year-old LAMP skills on a Google project. I think I've gone to heaven.
  • I might have made more money $_$. This seems like a good way for high schoolers to make some money while doing something other than just flipping burgers or working at a convenience store. They might even develop some skills and would help on a college resume.
  • .... So they can get to their next batch of potential employees before Ballmer does.
  • ...and get paid small sums for their successful completion.

    What? And lose my amateur status?

  • Although I dabbled in BBS's, and a little BASIC code in high school I really wouldn't have wanted to waste my summer coding. High Schoolers should be trying to get laid.
    • by niceone ( 992278 ) *
      The people with the skills Google are looking for probably don't have the skills to get laid. Best earn the money Google is offering and then... um... go the professional route.

      (I am joking)
  • Someone please write a C++ YAML parser/emitter library and document it. It's a painful omission.
  • FTA:

    At the conclusion of the contest, contestants will receive a t-shirt and certificate for completing at least one task (maximum of one shirt & certificate per contestant) and 100 USD for every three tasks completed (maximum 500 USD per contestant).

    Whee, money! :D
  • Limited choices... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FirstTimeCaller ( 521493 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @01:41PM (#21506983)
    I'd love to get my son or daughter interested in this. But given the limited list of options I don't really see this happening. Heck, four of the ten options are content management systems(!). Is this really going to excite young high school kids? Where's the music related projects? The social networking projects?
    • by Titus ( 61089 )
      good point. but someone has to come up with the tasks! you are welcome to come over to python and suggest something.

      (we already have ~5 social networking asks but they kinda suck ;)
  • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

    I wish there would have been something like this when I was in high school...

    True, but there were other opportunities back then that aren't available now. I sold a couple of Apple II programs (and the articles describing them) to Nibble [], one of which was published. Magazines like that don't even exist anymore.

  • by the_kanzure ( 1100087 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @02:26PM (#21507573) Homepage
    I am somewhat disappointed about the available tasks. They have tasks up like: "Remove old icons from gnome-desktop" and "Design logo" over at Apache. Are you taking young programmers seriously? I know, I know, these tasks must be done, but how's this supposed to attract the younger, yet still just as serious, programmers? There are many young guys out there that are making MMORPGs, networking libraries, improving obscure microprocessor architectures, and tons of other fun stuff. Some of us (ahem) have spent many hours behind the debugger working out kinks in algorithms, in games, or logged hours late into the night just for the hell of it. I was really hoping that this would be an opportunity to encourage serious open source development from the younger programmers out there, but really it looks more practical to join some of the open source mailing lists and going rogue. Google could have just named these guys with their label and make the whole (true) experience more than worthwhile, rather than dishing out these insults. But it's a start, I am eager to see how this plays out.
    • by Titus ( 61089 )
      please go check out python -- we tried to write a whole spectrum of tasks (and largely failed -- it's tough!)

      we have room for 40 more tasks. suggest some!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bcrowell ( 177657 )
      Interesting to hear your point of view on this. I have almost exactly the opposite impression, though. There is one Summer of Code project from 2007 that I'm familiar with; it drew my interest because it was a GUI app that was going to compete with an open-source app that I wrote. I figured that friendly competition between open-source projects was always a good thing, and was looking forward to seeing what they came up with. Well, the student wrote about 3000 lines of code, with essentially no comments, an
    • by xtracto ( 837672 )
      Yeah... it would be easier to post those as mechanical turks. I Google is looking for the equivalent of undergrads for Research (whose "research" projects are focused on gluing receipts from the Dr. last conference trip)
    • When I went to high school, I participated in a program called ThinkQuest [] in 1999 and 2000. At the time it was run by an organization called Since then, Oracle has continued the program and it has changed for the worse. But back then, this program is probably a good portion of the reason behind my educational successes, my increased knowledge base, and some really good lessons learned that I would have never had otherwise.

      ThinkQuest in those years was a pretty amazing program. You worked in

  • When I was in high school, we had to write a thousand lines of code to open a window with a button. Now, with 30 lines of code, high schoolers can render an instant search on petabytes of data in 3D on a cell phone. Pretty amazing progress.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead