Google Summer of Code, the most efficient program that pumps new blood to open source world is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Behind-curtain faces who initiate this unique program has started visiting the countries which took highest participation in last 9 events.
As a result, team from Google Open Source Programs Office visited University of Moratuwa on 23rd January 2014. According to stats, 203 students from University of Moratuwa have participated so far making its the highest contribution from a university. There were 265 students selected over the last 9 years in an escalating rate from all over Sri Lanka.
Over 200 were invited to the event including students who are willing to participate, ones participated in past GSoC events and also industry representatives. The event started by lighting the traditional oil lamp and followed by a welcome dance.
After a warm welcome to all the invitees, the chief guest of the occassion, Hon. Vice Chancellor prof Ananda Jayawardena of Moratuwa University spoke about the impact of open source communities over IT industry and how GSoC worked as a driving force in past several years. Also, the Hon. VC thanked to former GSoC participants for bringing glory to the University.
Chris Dibona, the director of open source at Google, then shared his excitement of meeting Sri Lankan GSoC winners and high acceptance rate from a 20milion population country. He talked about how to influence the young generation into open source community lead to innovate GSoC program. Chris also did not forget to thank past mentors and students for their hard work on making GSoC a huge success.
Stephanie Taylor and Mary Radomile, motivated students with 10 things for celebrate decade of GSoC.
As the final speech from invited guests, Dr.Sanjiva Weerawarana addressed the audience. His sophisticated speech started with the history of IT challenges and how open source communities took a major role in solving them. He also shared his satisfaction of contributing to open source community. In his speech he finally reminded all the GSoC participants to carry on the contribution to open source community.
After guest speeches, Tishan, gihan, Himeshi and sukitha, past GSOC winners also added their words and shared their experiences of GSoC.
Chris , Dr.Sanjiva, Stephanie and Marry stood up in the discussion panel and they answered to questions from audience.
At the end of the discussion, a souvenir was presented to the head of computer engineering department, UoM by Chris and Dr.Sanjiva presented back tokens of appreciation to the Google team.
Before the conclusion, new Nexus10 devices were given out to randomly chosen students and same time, all attendees received Google swags too. Event concluded with modern Raga and local cultural song entertainment, refreshments and informal chats between guests and students.
This event successfully raised the awareness of GSoC, open source culture and related activities and GCI. All students were highly motivated by the event and I’m sure there will be more and more new faces in GSoC 2014 arena and Google Code In !!!