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Google Summer of Code is a program where Google is employing students for a summer job that consists of the student working on an open source programming project.

My organization, NetBSD, is taking part as a mentoring organization, like we did in previous years, and I am this years main organization administrator for NetBSD.

If you are a student, at least 18 years old, have nothing planned yet for the summer break, know some Unix and can passably program in C, look at our suggested projects page.

You do not have to be a programming god to take part in GSoC; any projects on our list up to medium can be done by someone who knows the basics, has an idea what the project is about, and is willing to work hard on it. You are not going to be left alone with your project, you will have a mentor who will tell you what you need to learn and research and who'll help you if you get stuck.

If you find something that appeals to you, talk to the listed contacts, and go ahead and apply for it if it continues to appeal. More than one application is entirely acceptable, as long as you did your homework on the projects you are applying for.

If you don't find any project that appeals to you with NetBSD (eg because your programming language of choice is anything but C), look if you find something that does hit the sweet spot here.

You will hardly ever get a better jumpstart into high quality programming than by taking part in this program. In most of the lesser difficulty projects on the NetBSD list, the mentor could do the project in less time alone than they'll spend mentoring you; while a finished product is definitely a vital goal, the more important goal is getting you across the initial hurdles of not daring to take part and not knowing how to take part in an open source project, and to teach you good practical programming habits.

While there are programming gods (NetBSD has a few), the project would not work with them alone. And the remainder of the people are just cooking with water and breathing air. And, you know? with a little bit of initial prodding, you might grow to be a programming god eventually.

PS: if you already are a programming god, put your teeth into a high difficulty project. :-)

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