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Google Summer of Code Program Overhauled

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the learning-a-new-way dept.

Google 37

lisah writes "Though at first glance Google's Summer of Code (SOC) 2007 looks pretty much the same as last year's event, it turns out much of the program has been overhauled based on feedback from past participants. The biggest change is the amount of lead time given to applicants and mentoring organizations in the hopes of increasing the applicant pool and allowing everyone to be better organized once the program gets officially underway on May 28. SOC organizers say they are also aware that slow payment to last year's participants has been a bone of contention and they are taking steps to 'make sure that the problem is diminished or will not happen again.'"

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The dark side... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18123964)

... that slow payment to last year's participants has been a bone of contention ...

Google doesn't want to be planting any seeds for a "winter of discontent" after a busy summer. There's enough Google bombs as it is.

it's not fair (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18124030)

i just wished they would let regular school drop-outs, heck just regular people
participate in the program :( instead of having students
waste their time in the summer when they should be partying

Re:it's not fair (0)

KaCzach (1002788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125082)

Why was the above rated funny?
Google is giving money only to those that can afford studying in the first place.
I don't find this funny at all.

Re:it's not fair (1, Insightful)

antoinjapan (450229) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125382)

Not every country requires going into debt for the rest of your life for a college education like america does.

Re:it's not fair (2, Insightful)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18126322)

"the rest of your life"? Maybe if you're bad at restricting your own spending, go to an overly expensive school without scholarships or grants, or do something else like that.

Re:it's not fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18126778)

do something else like that.

Yeah, that'd be totally crazy! Newsflash: even state school's tuitions have been skyrocketing these past few years.

I worked two minimum wage jobs full time to supplement the $2500/year the government would loan me (think minimum wage is stagnant? When was the last time the stafford loan was adjusted for inflation?) for my public university schooling. My brother goes to a community college because in the past 7 years since I graduated, the public universities in the state have nearly doubled in cost and its simply impossible to attend them without some other source of financing.

I'm sure that in the competitive job market, future employers will treat his degree from a county college as fully equal to an expensive degree from a university, though.

Re:it's not fair (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18127076)

Total expenses (assuming in-state tuition) for the University of Washington come to about $20,000 annually. Times four years is $80,000. Assuming you pay for that entirely through loans, graduate, and make $40,000 a year and maintain the same standard of living you had in college until your debt is paid off, you have $30,000 per year you can apply towards that debt. That's three years, maybe four considering interest. Less if you make more money or find other ways to help pay for school. And that's with a lot of generous assumptions.

Re:it's not fair (1)

C0y0t3 (807909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18128866)

If a 24 year old makes 40000/year, even if they could or did in college they will not try to live on 10000 so they can pay 30000 per year towards debt. If people had the will to do that, student loans, bankruptcies, second mortgages, and credit cards would all be unnecessary.

It also misses the point that $20000 is a very high tuition, relatively speaking, and US tuitions are high PRECISELY BECAUSE there are government guaranteed student loans. Tuition rates have risen steadily 5+% per year since the 70's outpacing inflation right along with 2 other government subsidized industries - healthcare and real estate (in this country, US of A - yay).

20k is not "high" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18129328)

$20k is not a high tuition. And subsidized loans cover a miniscule fraction of private tuition. When I was in school, I could get a $2.5k loan per year on a $35k tuition/etc bill. A tenth of my tuition was subsidized? Sorry, you can't say government loans are why tuition rates increase.

Oh, and I still have to pay that back!

I suspect government funding of basic research has been cut back, and this would affect college costs. This also hurts America in the long run.

Re:20k is not "high" ...for a private college (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18129502)

Sorry, I didn't realize you were talking about public colleges. My numbers were from 10 years ago, mid to upper priced private uni.

Re:it's not fair (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18130120)

If people had the will to do that, student loans, bankruptcies, second mortgages, and credit cards would all be unnecessary.

Of those four things, student loans are pretty much the only form of consumer debt that makes sense. In business, you take on debts if you're reasonably certain you'll make enough profit on the borrowed money to pay off the interest and then some. The same rationale applies for student loans. Bankruptcies are a failure to manage debt properly. (Sometimes the failure is unavoidable--medical catastrophes, for instance--but it is still a failure.) Sometimes you're just a dumbass who wants a bigger house and an HDTV when you can't really afford it. Second mortgages and credit cards are the same story. Unless you have some emergency cashflow issue or honestly expect to profit from borrowed money (and yes, gaining equity in a house instead of wasting money on rent counts as profit), borrowing money is a stupid, stupid idea, and Americans do far too much of it out of a desire to fulfill an expensive consumer lifestyle.

$20,000 is a very high tuition. However, I didn't cite tuition. Tuition is only about $5,000 a year. The other $15,000 is for living expenses, books, and fees. Tuition *is* about $20,000 at a place like Caltech, where total annual expenses approach $50,000. That's $200,000 for a four-year education, but Caltech grads hopefully make enough money in their lives to pay for it. And if they don't, then I guess going to Caltech isn't worth it for them.

Re:it's not fair (1)

Nevyn (5505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18143766)

You have a $40,000 (gross) a year job, and you expect to have $30,000 in disposable income? I'd like to live in your fantasy land. However for the rest of us, in the real world, $40,000 a year is a pretty decent paying job and assuming no state tax you'll only have $32.5k per. year a actual money. Which doesn't include the ~4k-8k you should be putting in your 401k, and any medical contributiuons. Then you almost certianly need a car, you'll have bigger expenses for work clothing and obviously need rent and food (rent/mortgage is very likely to be higher, food probably is too).

So having a decent job straight from school, spending almost nothing extra, living in the same kind of crappy accomodations you did during school and eating the same kind of crappy food ... you might be able to "spend" $10,000 a year on paying down your school debt.

But life just isn't that wonderful, and you'll soon find that the 3-4% student loan isn't worth paying anything more than the minimum on (and you can't afford to anyway).

Re:it's not fair (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18148976)

If you're not going to get a decent job, then don't go to expensive colleges and think to yourself that you can afford it unless you willingly choose to saddle yourself with debt, at which point it's nothing you should be whining about later.

and assuming no state tax you'll only have $32.5k per. year a actual money

OK. That leaves 20k to pay down debts, and a four year schedule, assuming no raises or other increases in income.

Which doesn't include the ~4k-8k you should be putting in your 401k

If and only if the return on that is greater than the interest on your debt.

and any medical contributiuons. Then you almost certianly need a car, you'll have bigger expenses for work clothing and obviously need rent and food (rent/mortgage is very likely to be higher, food probably is too).

A lot of college students already have cars one way or another. Does it stop running when you graduate? You have to move to a more expensive city or more expensive part of town to work, fine. Do you suddenly need to eat more expensive food when you graduate? Maybe groceries cost more where you're moving to--fair enough, I guess.

So having a decent job straight from school, spending almost nothing extra, living in the same kind of crappy accomodations you did during school and eating the same kind of crappy food

Fine dining and luxurious living accommodations (and keep in mind that, from the perspective of most human beings who have ever lived, your accommodations are already luxurious and your dining already fine) are not the key to happiness. I'm satisfied with what I have. I'm not like most Americans, and I don't think spending lots of money often accomplishes any useful end above and beyond sustaining myself. Perhaps I have the mentality to escape the debt most Americans constantly find themselves in. It's a pity that they don't.

Re:it's not fair (1)

Nevyn (5505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18149616)

If you're not going to get a decent job, then don't go to expensive colleges and think to yourself that you can afford it unless you willingly choose to saddle yourself with debt, at which point it's nothing you should be whining about later.

So a good education is only for the rich, or for people who are going to do well at subjects that make them rich? There are a lot of subjects that require degrees (or masters degrees) that do not pay $40k a year to people straight out of college. Maybe you were lucky.

Which doesn't include the ~4k-8k you should be putting in your 401k

If and only if the return on that is greater than the interest on your debt.

Well at any decent company the first ~1k is going to be matched, but it's also probably fair to say that, over a 25-35 year period, putting money in most mutual funds is going to give a better return than paying off a student loan.

A lot of college students already have cars one way or another.

This is far from the case, in my experience, also when they do have one what is useful as a recreational vehicle is different from what is useful for doing an hour or more commute 5 days a week.

Fine dining and luxurious living accommodations are not the key to happiness.

That's not what I said, when you've finnished working you might be "forced" to socialize with your co-workers; you will be restricted in when you can buy food, how long you'll be able to prepare it, how long you have to eat it, etc.; you can easily be restricted to a higher price of groceries.

And for housing it's often the case that you'll be sharing with 1 or 2 other students, which is often not viable after you've graduated. It's also not out of the question for you to want to own a home within the first couple of years at work.

Most people would also say that companionship / love is a key to happiness, which once you've left college might well require a degree more spending.

I'm not like most Americans, and I don't think spending lots of money often accomplishes any useful end above and beyond sustaining myself.

I'm not arguing that you should spend "often", but I do think your idea that most people could pay off an $80,000 education loan "in a couple of years" is highly optimistic. The whole discussion is kind of sureal anyway, as given the student loan rates paying it early is the worst thing to do.

and keep in mind that, from the perspective of most human beings who have ever lived, your accommodations are already luxurious and your dining already fine

That's like saying don't complain if someone breaks your legs because at least you are alive. Yes, it's true, but is mostly meaningless.

Perhaps I have the mentality to escape the debt most Americans constantly find themselves in. It's a pity that they don't.

I understand where you are coming from, and I also have no pity for the people selling their home because they leveraged it's equity to just "buy shit" ... but there's a huge gap between that and having to spend a third to a half the price of a home on an education.

Re:it's not fair (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18150096)

So a good education is only for the rich, or for people who are going to do well at subjects that make them rich? There are a lot of subjects that require degrees (or masters degrees) that do not pay $40k a year to people straight out of college. Maybe you were lucky.

If you're poor, there are scholarships. If you're studying business, liberal arts, or social sciences, you likely have enough free time to get a job while you're in college. And if you're middle class, your parents may have saved some money for you. Any of those things reduces the amound you'll have to pay back later. And, just like with everything, a good education is only for those who value it enough to pay for it. If you're poor and desperately want a good education in English literature, you should want it bad enough to spend a good deal of your life paying for it.

Well at any decent company the first ~1k is going to be matched, but it's also probably fair to say that, over a 25-35 year period, putting money in most mutual funds is going to give a better return than paying off a student loan.

You invest each dollar by the amount that it gives a better return.

you will be restricted in when you can buy food, how long you'll be able to prepare it, how long you have to eat it

And a college student isn't?

And for housing it's often the case that you'll be sharing with 1 or 2 other students, which is often not viable after you've graduated. It's also not out of the question for you to want to own a home within the first couple of years at work.

Wanting to own a home is another case where you compare rates of return.

That's like saying don't complain if someone breaks your legs because at least you are alive. Yes, it's true, but is mostly meaningless.

Is the difference between a student apartment and a "nice" apartment like the difference between broken legs and healthy legs? Or are we socially conditioned to want "nice" things instead of "crappy" things when the "nice" things don't make us any more happy?

The whole discussion is kind of sureal anyway, as given the student loan rates paying it early is the worst thing to do.

Only if you can invest money with higher returns. Paying extra rent for a "nice" apartment only decreases your net worth--paying down a loan increases it in the longterm (when the amount you paid off doesn't compound) and leaves it the same in the shorterm (as your diminished assets offset your reduced debt). And while federal loans may have artificially low rates, private loans do not.

having to spend a third to a half the price of a home on an education

An education is only worth one third of a home?

Re:it's not fair (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#18131418)

No, but the lunch ain't free: the state will tax the living daylights out of you.
Remember, in the economic process list, the government has PID==0. It is the swapper process. Considerable amount of friction involved, though.
YMMV. This may be acceptable to you. In the end, all hearts quit beating, and all of this bickering and arguing over whose government was cooler than whose amounts to little.

Re:it's not fair (1)

indraneil (1011639) | more than 7 years ago | (#18132750)

I graduate this summer. I heard of this the 1st time, last year; but I broke my hip last summer and could not participate.
I dont much care for the money, but it would have been a great opportunity to interact with the opensource community and I regret not getting an opportunity to do that!
Sometimes, rules have a queer way of not being fair!

Just a thought... (3, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124084)

Presumably, most of these students are from middle or upper class families if they're doing this work, in college, outside of a first world country. Surely they have access to a bank that can covert dollars to the local currency. Now call me crazy, but it would seem to me that Google could just deposit the dollars into their local bank account and the intern could convert it as needed. I would assume that either way, a conversion fee would be involved. If it comes down to it, I would imagine that most interns would rather have the hassle of being paid in dollars on a regular basis like interns in most companies in the US, than have Google's bureaucrats go through the process of finding out how to convert the currency, especially knowing how slow most HR people are.

Re:Just a thought... (5, Informative)

chrisd (1457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124260)

So last year SoC students were in 90 countries encompassing some 73 currencies, and for some , your tactic might work, but in many, it would simply mean that they could not ever use the money. We have to do things legally and right, not just the expedient. An example: To pay someone in Brazil we have to accompany each of the 3 payments to any student with a document detailing why we want the reals and what they are being paid for. Then the student must take the docs to a local bank to receive the wire, and there are often fees. It's easy to come down on the accountants and bureaucrats and everything, but when you get down into it, many of the countries make it difficult to interact financially with their citizens. What you are recommending, in some countries, is illegal and could put our students in danger of being arrested. I'd rather a payment be slow.

Re:Just a thought... (1)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125466)

Then the student must take the docs to a local bank to receive the wire, and there are often fees

In what countries can you not legally give (reasonably small sums of) money to someone??? Documentation of why they received it? "Services rendered", "gift", or in some of these bass-ackwards places, just write "dowry". Or if local banks cause the problem, just send them cash in their local currency - problem solved.

This involves a mere $4500. Not suitcases full of unmarked bills.

Why do you think all the Indian H1Bs send their familes so much jewelry, rather than wiring funds back home? Hint - It has nothing to do with a preference for ugly jewelry.



We have to do things legally and right, not just the expedient.

That works in the US and most of Western Europe. In the rest of the world, "legally and right" means "never". You want it done at all, do it the expedient way (which more often than not, involves giving what amounts to a pittance for us to 17 levels of government peon).



What you are recommending, in some countries, is illegal and could put our students in danger of being arrested.

Thus the need to include a "gratuity" for the local police. Simple enough concept, people - The world doesn't run on law-n'-order, it runs on alpha males looking the other way after getting "their" cut.

Re:Just a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18126376)

Thus the need to include a "gratuity" for the local police.

And there exist laws in the US under which you can be prosecuted if it becomes clear that your corporation is doing this sort of thing abroad -- no matter how necessary it is to get things done.

Re:Just a thought... (1)

Beuno (740018) | more than 7 years ago | (#18128594)

In what countries can you not legally give (reasonably small sums of) money to someone??? Documentation of why they received it? "Services rendered", "gift", or in some of these bass-ackwards places, just write "dowry". Or if local banks cause the problem, just send them cash in their local currency - problem solved.

This involves a mere $4500. Not suitcases full of unmarked bills.


Argentina and Brazil for starters.
4500 dollars is around 14000 argentine pesos, which is a bit more then most people make in a year. Doesn't sound like "mere $4500" very much.

You have to remember once in a while that whatever applies in the US doesn't apply everywhere.

Re:Just a thought... (4, Informative)

PhoenixSnow (994523) | more than 7 years ago | (#18125956)

I, for one, am a citizen of a country where it's illegal to hold ANY foreign currency, whether it's in my bank account or in cash unless you own a business with a special license to conduct business with foreign sources. Of course, it takes a few years to get that special license if you comply with due process. The government intends to keep the citizens as disconnected from the outside world as they can. It's true there are not that many countries like this but some still exist to this day.

Do you have any oil? (4, Funny)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18129822)

Perhaps we can bring you some democracy.

Re:Just a thought... (1)

nateb (59324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18129894)

What country are you in?

Re:Just a thought... (1)

dasir (1054076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18131430)

My country too. SoC is not available in my country, and not only that.. I can't use my Paypal account, .. What's wrong to these company?

Re:Just a thought... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18126286)

Sir, you are full of shit.

Re:Just a thought... (1)

fr1kk (810571) | more than 7 years ago | (#18127268)

Actually I had no idea that SoC participants got paid. I planned on applying with the intention of volunteer work - I guess this makes the program that much better.

Blaine

Re:Just a thought... (1)

foobarbaz (21227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18134116)

Their slogan is "flip bits, not burgers". :)

Re:Just a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18130360)

It's probably a good exercise for the accounting dept. As google grows it is going to need to navigate more odd currency/banking/tax situations.

Re:Just a thought... (1)

schlick (73861) | more than 7 years ago | (#18131480)

Pal Pal..... duh?

Re:Just a thought... (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 7 years ago | (#18132496)

I find it strange that Google does not already have a bank account in Brazil, stuffed to the brim with Reals.
Have you never done business with Brazilians before, or do you require all payments to be made in US dollars to a US bank account?
obviously, rinse and repeat for most of the countries in the world..

Is this googleslash or what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18124114)

It is a big world out there editors.
Could you please find other topics besides google?

I have google burnout.

thanks,

anon coward

Overhauled... (3, Funny)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 7 years ago | (#18124448)

this means they are finally gonna get a tan this summer?

Payments (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18126362)

Well, if Google has serious problems with the payroll and expenses of its own employees (frequent late or wrong payments, etc.), I wonder how it could be with those participating in this program.

If people knew of all the internal administrative problems within Google...

YOU INSENSITIVE cLOD.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18127066)

is wi4ed off and [goat.cx]

semi-ot plug flagrante (1)

wixi (1065094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18130394)

SOC 2007 idea for OLPC http://wiki.laptop.org/go/wixi [laptop.org] .. wixi is a wiki-based multilingual language learning interface.. can work w/ OLPC, MediaWiki, OmegaWiki, etc.. looking for CS students to apply.. win $4500 and a billion users.. SUERTE!
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