In a recent interview by Slashdot, Google’s open source and public sector engineering manager, Chris DiBona had discussed and shared some interesting things about his job with his comments about Google’s Summer of Code (GSoc) are the best one. Before sharing his comments, it would be great to share what GSoc is all about, every year Google awards stipends to hundreds of students of age 18-year old and up. In order to qualify, you need to compete in a free and open-source software coding project during the summer. His comments:
During a strategy meeting, where you announce new websites inside the company, I said to Larry [Page], “We need to put compliance stuff up, but I’m also going to put up information on file formats and interfaces into the company.” We had a couple of APIs at the time. They’re said, “Okay. Sounds good. Oh, we need you to do us a favor.” I’m said, “Oh. Name it, sir. You say, Jump, I say, How high?” They go, “Too many students are taking the summer off, or they’re not doing computer things over the summer. Can you fix that?” They gave me some numbers, how many students they’d like to see in such programs, and some money. I left the room going, “Gosh, I have to fix computer science now?” I asked some friends in Open Source, “What if I gave you some students? What would you do to them?” We talked it out.
I went back a couple of weeks later, “We’re going to do this summer code thing. The first pass on Summer of Code was only going to have 200 students, and Larry Page, in his inevitable way said, “That’s nice. But what about 1000 students?” I’m said, “Unfortunately, I’m only one guy.” He’s like, “Why don’t you hire somebody?” So, we doubled it to 400. We were at 1000 in about two years. And that program still persists. When you look at our contributions to Open Source, we’ve released under Open Source licenses, about 55 million lines of code.