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Google Summer of Code Extends to Highschoolers

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the get-in-the-game-kids dept.

Education 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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79 comments

I'm assuming... (0)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505385)

This doesn't apply to "highschoolers" outside the USA?

Re:I'm assuming... (5, Informative)

lantastik (877247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505477)

ASS-U-ME
4. ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open to individual students who are thirteen (13) years of age or older on November 27, 2007, who are currently enrolled in a pre-university, high school or secondary school program, and who have agreed to these Rules ("Participants"). You must demonstrate the consent of a parent or legal guardian in order to be eligible to receive any prizes as well as written proof of age and proof of enrollment in a pre-university, high school or secondary school program. The Contest is not open to residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), or to other individuals restricted by U.S. export controls and sanctions, and is void in any other nation, state, or province where prohibited or restricted by U.S. or local law. Employees, interns, contractors, and official office-holders of (1) Google, (2) participating Open Source Organizations, (3) the parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries of either Google or any participating Open Source Organization, and members of their immediate families (defined as parents, children, siblings and spouse, regardless of where they reside, and/or those living in the same household of each) are ineligible to participate in the Contest. You must have access to the Internet and either have or sign up for a free Google Account in order to enter.

Ass you me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21505729)

Let's hope someone mods your post up because in abbreviated form it looks like a bad pickup line

Re:I'm assuming... (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505803)

Basically, unless you live in Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Burma, et al, you can compete.

Assume this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506863)

I refuse to participate to a contest that blocks any of the countries: Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Myanmar (Burma).

Because science has nothing to do with your oil wars. Scientific embargo means lobby ethics. Good luck with your contests. Perhaps you can hire some venture capitalists to write the code.

Re:Assume this (1)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508413)

So Google should go out of their way to violate the laws of the land in which they reside?

Google's a business. If you have issue with the embargoes, take it up with the government that passes the laws they're subject to.

Re:I'm assuming... (1)

superstuntguy (907884) | more than 6 years ago | (#21514763)

Why does it have to be high school only? Doesn't anybody ever think of the little people? (middle schoolers)
I'm 14 (8th grade) and I've been programming since I was 10, (also, according to my parents I took apart my first computer at 3 - but I don't remember that) and no one ever has any respect for people like me. I would definitely sign up for this if it were open to me; being too young for a job, I'm always short on money.

Re:I'm assuming... (1)

RaNdOm OuTpUt (928053) | more than 6 years ago | (#21540631)

The exact rule is: "The contest is open to all students who are thirteen (13) years of age
or older on November 27, 2007. Students must be enrolled in a
pre-university".

Middle schoolers are allowed.

Re:I'm assuming... (0, Redundant)

DeeQ (1194763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505531)

"4. ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open to individual students who are thirteen (13) years of age or older on November 27, 2007, who are currently enrolled in a pre-university, high school or secondary school program, and who have agreed to these Rules ("Participants"). You must demonstrate the consent of a parent or legal guardian in order to be eligible to receive any prizes as well as written proof of age and proof of enrollment in a pre-university, high school or secondary school program. The Contest is not open to residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), or to other individuals restricted by U.S. export controls and sanctions, and is void in any other nation, state, or province where prohibited or restricted by U.S. or local law. Employees, interns, contractors, and official office-holders of (1) Google, (2) participating Open Source Organizations, (3) the parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries of either Google or any participating Open Source Organization, and members of their immediate families (defined as parents, children, siblings and spouse, regardless of where they reside, and/or those living in the same household of each) are ineligible to participate in the Contest. You must have access to the Internet and either have or sign up for a free Google Account in order to enter. " 5 seconds to find :)

Re:I'm assuming... (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505569)

It's only for those who can read, anyway.

First paragraph:
The Google Summer of Code program for 2007 ran through August 31, 2007. This year, the program brought together 900 students and nearly 1500 mentors across 90 countries to contribute to over 130 different open source software projects. You can check out a KML file (requires Google Earth) showcasing this year's successful participants (and their supporting mentors from various Open Source organizations).

And as others have pointed out, the eligibility clause clearly states that fariners are allowed.

No, its global (1)

phobonetik (522196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506285)

Well, except for a few countries (Cuba, etc), and the reason for that is I believe Google is sanctioned against including those due to US law? (Being one of the entities involved [silverstripe.com] , but from New Zealand, I am not certain on US law restrictions)

Google! Google! (0, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505465)

Honestly, how many Google stories in one day? One week? Perhaps we can do like mailing lists and distil it down to a single weekly summary?

Re:Google! Google! (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505571)

Honestly, how many Google stories in one day?
As many as it takes to sate our interest? Really, is it that hard for you to resist your obsessive compulsive behavior and not click on the link for stories you aren't interested in?

Re:Google! Google! (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505951)

Really, is it that hard for you to resist your obsessive compulsive behavior and not click on the link for stories you aren't interested in?
Yes, very difficult. Especially when Slashdot "editors" behave so irresponsibly by putting these stories with outrageous headlines out like a couple of big juicy tits on a platter where any normal person simply can't resist.

Re:Google! Google! (1)

halber_mensch (851834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506127)

Really, is it that hard for you to resist your obsessive compulsive behavior and not click on the link for stories you aren't interested in?
Yes, very difficult. Especially when Slashdot "editors" behave so irresponsibly by putting these stories with outrageous headlines out like a couple of big juicy tits on a platter where any normal person simply can't resist.
You're implying only heterosexual females are not interested in these stories?

Tits on a platter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21507033)

...like a couple of big juicy tits on a platter where any normal person simply can't resist.

Err... I don't know about you, but if I see two tits on a platter and nothing/nobody else around, I could certainly resist.

Re:Google! Google! (2, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506499)

It's a relatively new mental disease called "Google On The Brain".

The main symptom is believing that everything and/or anything Google does is Good.

If you say, or even imply, that Google is bad, evil or just over-rated, you get dumped on, trashed and modded down.

If you run around proclaiming "Google is Great!", then the gaggle of brainwashed fanboys accept you as one of their own into the Google religion.

Personally I wish that Google, like Microsoft, and other large monopolies would just dry up and go away.

Highschool coders...the musical (3, Interesting)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 6 years ago | (#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...

Re:Highschool coders...the musical (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21507093)

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?

Re:Highschool coders...the musical (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21509983)

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

creators' seasons of population/planet rescue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21505497)

extended to all lifeforms. see you there?

@phobonetik re: door games (4, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505529)

Just curious, what door games did you write?

Story of phobonetik, SilverStripe (1)

phobonetik (522196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506545)

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 Quake), all manner of small utilities, and some nostelgic Screen 13 (VGA 320x200x256 colour) games which used assembly on the tighter loops. I was sad to say my real only access to a LAN at that time was our school, fitted with low-end 386s, meaning I never really finished my IPX networking code because it was infuriatingly slow in comparison to my trusty 486DX2/66 at the time.

Sadly somewhere all that sourcecode was lost, although I'm some of may lurk around old Geocities homepages etc :P

But never mind, I still get to benefit from the program because I went off to co-found the SilverStripe web platform/CMS project [silverstripe.com] , one of the open source projects involved in this high school contest... ;)

Re:Story of phobonetik, SilverStripe (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508245)

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 Communication, so I'm quite interested in your CMS software and will enthusiastically check it out!

Lol, he said B B S (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505549)

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!

I needed this so bad... (3, Insightful)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505563)

... 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 ;-)

Don't Take the Candy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21505597)

Hmm...
Child labor issues?

It's nice if you are a highschool kid and can't come up with anything interesting on your own...but it's not the greatest thing for everyone.

Maybe Slashdot would not have been created if you could have repeatedly performed many menial tasks for small pay?

This is just another way for a large company, Google here, to take advantage of open source and profit from the work of others.

Re:Don't Take the Candy! (1)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506441)

Except the kids are getting paid. And they don't have to work if they don't want to. I don't think there are any child labor issues here. It's just like asking a kid if they want to mow your lawn for five bucks an hour. And I would hope that google takes advantage of open source, I would hope that lots of people take advantage of open source. That's why it's there, isn't it? Maybe Google bashing is the new in thing, but I really don't see why you have a problem with this whole thing.

Tasks are clear, voluntary and beat alternatives (1)

phobonetik (522196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506639)

Yeah, tasks are very transparent and obvious before you commit to anything. (Examples for the SilverStripe project [google.com] ) and you're more likely to get useful opportunities out of putting "Worked on some cool tasks for an open source project in a Google contest for two weekends" than a year's worth of cleaning your Dad's car, babysitting, working at the cinema candy booth, starbucks etc.

Re:Don't Take the Candy! (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 6 years ago | (#21507035)

I'm not sure who loses out here. The OSS projects that get free help? The kids that get paid? Google, who gets kids interested in programming so that they have more potential CS grads in a few years? The people using the software that has more features or fewer bugs now?

Most kids end up doing menial tasks for small pay (paper route, baby-sitting, mowing lawns, shoveling driveways, etc.). Very few get anything like recognition for working on a large software project.

Southern hemisphere's summer? (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505663)

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?

Re:Southern hemisphere's summer? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506437)

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.

Re:Southern hemisphere's summer? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508395)

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.

What A Great Idea (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505679)

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.

Cool... (1)

realwx (1121843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505737)

I can finally use my 16-year-old LAMP skills on a Google project. I think I've gone to heaven.

Re:Cool... (1)

realwx (1121843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505779)

Argh... I meant C++, not LAMP.

Re:Cool... (2, Funny)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506477)

The two are easily confused.

Re:Cool... (1)

breal0 (806216) | more than 6 years ago | (#21516171)

Sure are, only this morning I said to a fellow developer, "How do you declare an anonymous method in Windows, IIS, SQL Server 2008 and ASP.NET 3.5", when In fact I meant "Python". Always doing that.

Exciting innovations with the NSA data mine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21505767)

So, is Google spreading their "don't be evil" method of spying on US citizens to a new generation? Time will tell!

I'm guessing they are looking for something to buy for $300 Million which will not make any money. Who says the dot-bomb ever ended?

Iranians not allowed.... (0, Flamebait)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505801)

Organizations based in the countries Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea and Myanmar (Burma), with whom we are prohibited by U.S. law from engaging in commerce, are ineligible to participate. Mentoring organizations that are taking part in Google Summer of Code 2007 may add additional controls on which students may participate in the program under their auspices. Also if you look iranian, or have an iranian sounding name, you run the risk they will cancel your project.

Re:Iranians not allowed.... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506063)

Organizations based in the countries Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea and Myanmar (Burma), with whom we are prohibited by U.S. law from engaging in commerce, are ineligible to participate. Mentoring organizations that are taking part in Google Summer of Code 2007 may add additional controls on which students may participate in the program under their auspices. Also if you look iranian, or have an iranian sounding name, you run the risk they will cancel your project.
Where the Hell did that come from? Obviously Google might have restrictions based on some of the United States questionable foreign policies regarding commerce, but the last sentence of yours is asinine, not ironic or funny unless your sense of humor is dryer than a desiccant chamber, or related to any particular section of reality. "Looking Iranian"? Isn't that a rather hyperbolic statement?

Re:Iranians not allowed.... (1)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506357)

from experience...

Re:Iranians not allowed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21507437)

Sounds like a case of sour grapes, unless you can provide a copy of the "sorry you look Iranian so we're cancelling your project" letter.

Do they really ask for a photo to see if you look Iranian? Citation needed!

Re:Iranians not allowed.... (1)

Bob The Cowboy (308954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506699)

Please. Informative? If you've ever participated in (or read the fine print for) a US-based contest or the like you'll know that this isn't exactly new. Don't make it sound like "We've always been at war with Eurasia". Google is a US-based company running a contest, and is therefore subject to US Law, as you said. This isn't racism on anyone's part so lets not try to sensationalize it that way.

Bill

Re:Iranians not allowed.... (0, Troll)

br00tus (528477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506711)

Iranians aren't allowed because it wouldn't suit US corporations, such as Google, for middle class professionals from here to rub noses with middle class professionals from Iran and see they are just normal people like us. The only news on US television about Iran is how its leader said he wanted "Israel wiped off the map" (although people who actually know Persian here noted how he never said the words wiped or map in the sentence they're quoting - which of course the corporate commissars know all along). Or they say Iran is killing Americans in Iraq. Or are flipping out over Iran saying it wants nuclear power plants. Henry Kissinger supported Iran having nuclear power plants when the Shah was in power, suddenly he's turned against it and said there he's decided there is no reason Iran needs nuclear power. I seriously doubt more than 5% of Americans know the CIA staged a coup in Iran in 1953, putting a brutal dictator in power for 25 years. The main enemy of the US in the Middle East in the minds of the people who run the country are not Islamic fundamentalists - the US supported the mujahideen, the Saudi government etc. It is secular middle class professionals like yourself, especially those with populist and "pan-Arab" leanings (although a Shiite Persian culture is not leaning towards Pan-Arabism).

Re:Iranians not allowed.... (1)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21507361)

No, Iranians aren't allowed because U.S. law forbids commerce with residents of that country. Google doesn't want its employees going to jail or getting fined for breaking the law.

Re:Iranians not allowed.... (1)

Wyvern2005 (891801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21515715)

Don't know that you're not allowed or anything or I 'spect it'd be hard to post on a US based site, wouldn't it? And yah- I must be part of the 5 % that knew about the Shah and the coup because one of my early-teen friends was from over there and she told me a lot about it. Um, not pretty for sure, but surely not the most hidden thing in the world. In your world mileage may vary but here it's old news. Iran needs nukes (bombs) like the rest of the planetary ruling class needs hemhroids.POWER electrical they need just like we all do- and I expect they could get quite seriously good at building all the solar shit if they wanted to...but ya have to want to first. That'll take quite a while as oil is quite profitable right now. I don't care if you're an Iranian or an alien- all I want to know is are you a PERSON- subject to feelings, love, obligations and care. if you are, you're welcome to write me with new ideas. Later, Lisa

IF this was the case last year (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21505995)

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.

It makes sense for Google to do this.... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506007)

.... So they can get to their next batch of potential employees before Ballmer does.

Dabble not immersed (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506079)

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.

Re:Dabble not immersed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506259)

Right, because having an unplanned kid makes for a better future than developing skills that could be used in the actual work force.

Re:Dabble not immersed (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506583)

Plenty of time to develop skills.

Maybe I put too much emphasis on getting laid, but high school is the time to try out different things develop social skills etc. Figure out what you want to do. Not the time to lock yourself in a dark room coding.

True at a young age I knew I'd be an engineer of some type (dabbling in coding, dabbling in fixing electronics, dabbling in Star Trek), but I ddin't know I wanted to code for a living until my Senior year in College. Yes I was an EE major, but I soon began to realize how I gravitated towards the Software side of things anyway.

Re:Dabble not immersed (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508725)

Better to be in a dark room dabbling in coding, than to be in a dark room browsing myspace or illegally downloading software/music.

Re:Dabble not immersed (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506883)

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)

Suggested project (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506263)

Someone please write a C++ YAML parser/emitter library and document it. It's a painful omission.

Subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21506301)

Because there are some PHP projects, Google should lower the age limit (it's 13), because real programmers don't write in PHP after age of 12.

Grand Prize (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21506387)

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... (4, Insightful)

FirstTimeCaller (521493) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Re:Limited choices... (1)

Titus (61089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508113)

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 ;)

Moo (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21507347)

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 [nibblemagazine.net] , one of which was published. Magazines like that don't even exist anymore.

Re:Moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21507841)

But Nibble didn't restrict submissions to high school students alone did they? Google should extend this option to people who are out of school. It's like saying you want to help promote literacy by giving heaps of books to school libraries when you could be giving them to public libraries and promoting community literacy programs that benefit adults and children who aren't in school.

High school student, here (4, Insightful)

the_kanzure (1100087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21507573)

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.

Re:High school student, here (1)

Titus (61089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508199)

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!

--titus

Re:High school student, here (2, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508415)

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, and no documentation. The end result is available in CVS, but hasn't been packaged in any convenient form for end-users, and as far as I can tell it's not really functional at this point, and there doesn't appear to be any continuing work on the project. So it seems to me that they simply bit off more than they could chew. IMO, it's probably appropriate to keep the projects small and simple, because then the end result is more likely to be useful to someone. If, for example, a high school student wants to write an MMORPG, that's great, but it's not a summer project for a single person.

Re:High school student, here (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508941)

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)

You should be disappointed (2, Interesting)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21510871)

When I went to high school, I participated in a program called ThinkQuest [thinkquest.org] in 1999 and 2000. At the time it was run by an organization called advanced.org. 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 teams of up to three students and international collaboration was required. In addition you could have two coaches which served more as mentors rather than coaches. The objective of the project was to build a educational website on nearly any topic. The website, whether it won or not, would be hosted and displayed on the web free of charge. The teams that won were awarded scholarships in sums of $5000, $10,000, and $15,000 per a student. That meant that if your team won first place, each of the students on the team was awarded $15,000 in scholarship money. There were 5 or 6 different categories and each category had a first place price. There was also a best of competition prize which had a sum of $25,000 per each student I think.

The program in a few words was awesome. There were no defined goals or constraints on what you could do other than that the website had to be for good educational purposes. Everything was totally in your control and up to you and that included content research, website development, and any innovation. Some websites had games and other flashy things. It was all acceptable.

I participated two years in a row. My team was completely international (US, Germany, Singapore) but we lost contact with the Singapore guy shortly after the formation of the team. In short, we failed with just two of us putting in effort and it was our first stab at the competition. But we learned a lot and I gained at least one valuable team member. The second year we added a Hong Kong team member and dumped the other guy for obvious reasons. We revamped the content and added more things that we hoped we would accomplish to make the site more interactive and we went to the finals to meet each other in person for the first time.

Looking back I am glad I took the opportunity for tons of reasons and I wish more students had the same opportunity I did. You got to meet different international individuals and overcome something seemingly impossible and challenging. But you didn't care, you were a carefree high school student. Today, people doing the same thing would be considered entrepreneurs and it is much scarier because your paycheck and credibility is on the line. Just like we failed the first time we learned what not to do (we made sure we recruited someone with previous competition experience) but many people don't have that experience or are too afraid to take the risks.

In addition after winning the competition many big successes shortly came after. It was probably one of the major reasons why I was accepted to universities and why I was offered a technical job in high school. It also stimulated me to accelerate my knowledge and learning abilities because I had no choice but to learn new things like web development in order to compete. Had I not had that experience I probably would have suffered just like everyone else in college because I would have wasted all my time in high school doing stupid things like watching tv or playing games.

So you're right. You should be disappointed. This is actually a poorly designed competition for your benefit.

Summer of George is more fun (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21508013)

Stripped to the waist eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery.

When I was in high school... (2, Interesting)

caywen (942955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21508065)

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.

Up after these AdWords, the Google (Truman) Show. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21509893)

See new born baby Google (Truman) Burbank nurtured to manhood for thirty years as the subject of a generations long software developer enrichment program, but where he is never told that he's a Google employee.

Every one he knows is a Google employee, including his wife and best friend, who have been contracted to act on a specially constructed Google campus with five thousand hidden cameras. They are all recording the growth and life of Google (Truman) Burbank on 24 hour YouTube. :-)

How Many? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21509901)

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.

Same number: zero.

Why isn't slashdot participating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21510777)

A: It violates Megan's law.
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