The last one month had been hell - the dreaded end semester exams. Thankfully I survived. And something unexpected happened in the mean time - I got selected into Google Summer of Code 2012! I'll be working for Processing. This was the first time I applied for GSoC and it feels great to be selected! :)
Google Summer of Code is a global program organised by Google that offers students stipends (hefty ones, that) to write code for open source projects. And the best part about the program is you don't need to be a computer science student or have really high CGPA to get selected. All you need is passion for coding and open source development.
I'd used Processing in a project during my internship last year. After the project, I decided to get into open source development after being inspired by an article on open source in the Digit magazine. Processing, being a newer community compared to heavy weights like Linux or Mozilla, was easier for me to get started with. Initially I built a simple tool (plugin) called Color Selector Plus. The response from the community was great. Also it's a great feeling to know your code is being used by people from around the globe. And I got in touch with some really impressive individuals who work on cool stuff.
I then went ahead and downloaded Processing's source code and built it from the svn trunk. Things were complicated at first, but slowly I could figure out more and more details as I played around with the source. During November last year, I started to consider applying for GSoC. And it was a pleasant surprise when I found out that Processing was one of the participating organizations in GSoC! During Jan and Feb, I built another tool for Processing - Sketch Outline. This plugin was quite interesting to work on and a nice learning experience.
By March, I'd started talking to past students for tips and to potential mentors discussing project ideas. And after many revisions, I finalized my project idea - Sketch Assistant. You can find my proposal here.
My mentor for this project is Daniel Shiffman, a Processing guru and one of the core contributors to Processing.
My project's git repo can be found here.
Looking forward to a summer full of hacking and coding!
Update [10/06/2012] - I'm sharing this video of Philip Johnson, a GSoC 2008 mentor and program administrator, providing an overview of the GSoC 2009 and explaining why you should definitely get involved. Very inspirational.