Tag Archives: student programs

Student applications for Google Summer of Code 2021 are now open!

Student applications for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2021 are now open!

Google Summer of Code introduces students from around the world to open source communities. The program exposes students to real-world software development scenarios, helps them develop their technical skills, and introduces them to our enthusiastic and generous community of GSoC mentors. Since 2005, GSoC has brought over 16,000 student developers from 111 countries into 715 open source communities!
Google Summer of Code logo
Now in our 17th consecutive year, the GSoC program has made some exciting changes for 2021. Students will now focus on a 175-hour project over a 10-week coding period (entirely online) and receive stipends based on the successful completion of their project milestones. We are also opening up the program to students 18 years of age and older, who are enrolled in post-secondary academic programs (including university, masters, PhD programs, licensed coding schools, community colleges, etc.) or have graduated from such a program between December 1, 2020 and May 17, 2021.

Ready to apply? The first step is to browse the list of 2021 GSoC organizations and look for project ideas that appeal to you. Next, reach out to the organization to introduce yourself and determine if your skills and interests are a good fit. Since spots are limited, we recommend writing a strong proposal and submitting a draft early so you can communicate with the organization and get their feedback to increase your odds of being selected. We recommend reading through the student guide and advice for students for important tips on preparing your proposal. Students may register and submit project proposals on the GSoC site from now until Tuesday, April 13th at 18:00 UTC.

You can find more information on our website, which includes a full timeline of important dates, GSoC videos, FAQ’s and Program Rules.

Good luck to all of the student applicants!

By Romina Vicente, Project Coordinator for Google Open Source Programs Office

Student applications for Google Summer of Code 2021 are now open!

Student applications for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2021 are now open!

Google Summer of Code introduces students from around the world to open source communities. The program exposes students to real-world software development scenarios, helps them develop their technical skills, and introduces them to our enthusiastic and generous community of GSoC mentors. Since 2005, GSoC has brought over 16,000 student developers from 111 countries into 715 open source communities!
Google Summer of Code logo
Now in our 17th consecutive year, the GSoC program has made some exciting changes for 2021. Students will now focus on a 175-hour project over a 10-week coding period (entirely online) and receive stipends based on the successful completion of their project milestones. We are also opening up the program to students 18 years of age and older, who are enrolled in post-secondary academic programs (including university, masters, PhD programs, licensed coding schools, community colleges, etc.) or have graduated from such a program between December 1, 2020 and May 17, 2021.

Ready to apply? The first step is to browse the list of 2021 GSoC organizations and look for project ideas that appeal to you. Next, reach out to the organization to introduce yourself and determine if your skills and interests are a good fit. Since spots are limited, we recommend writing a strong proposal and submitting a draft early so you can communicate with the organization and get their feedback to increase your odds of being selected. We recommend reading through the student guide and advice for students for important tips on preparing your proposal. Students may register and submit project proposals on the GSoC site from now until Tuesday, April 13th at 18:00 UTC.

You can find more information on our website, which includes a full timeline of important dates, GSoC videos, FAQ’s and Program Rules.

Good luck to all of the student applicants!

By Romina Vicente, Project Coordinator for Google Open Source Programs Office

Women who code: “I just want to see us win”

Naia Johnson knows what it’s like to feel outnumbered. 

“I have a computer science program at my school but I’m one of five girls in my class and of all the Black girls, I’m maybe one of two.” Naia explains. “It’s never deterred me, though — if anything, it has made me want to do better.” 

Naia is a high school senior at Oakland Technical High School as well as a student at Google’s Code Next Lab in Oakland, a free computer science education program aimed at preparing and uplifting the next generation of Black and Latinx tech leaders. Naia is the first Code Next student to facilitate a workshop — she’s currently leading a virtual “Creative Coding” club for other Code Next students. 

“I’ve always had an idea of running my own business,” Naia explains “Before Code Next, it wasn’t so tech-focused, but there was always this idea that I was going to do something, [that] I was going to be somebody and that I was going to make that happen.”

At Code Next, Naia works with Amber Morse, the lab’s Community Manager. “I try to stay as relevant and creative as possible to continue to keep [students] engaged,” Amber says. “There is so much light, vibrancy and possibility already being met in Oakland, so fostering community doesn’t take much.”

Both Amber and Naia are working within Code Next and the Oakland community to reshape what the tech industry looks like — and more precisely, who it works for. For Women’s History Month, we asked Naia and Amber to interview one another so we could get to know them, and their work, a little better. 

Amber and Naia standing next to each other, smiling and looking at the camera.

Naia and Amber

Amber: What got you interested in Computer Science, Naia? In other words, when did that spark... spark?

Naia: I think it’s always been sparked. Since a young age, I was a “maker” kid. One time I made a functioning radio out of snap circuits. It barely picked up anything unless I held it in a very specific place in the middle of my brother’s rooms and we had the windows wide open. It would pick up sports channels..in Spanish...but it worked. It's cool to think, ‘Wow I made this.’

Amber:I know you also had some involvement with Black Girls Code. That’s why we have this synergy, I think. Before Google, I worked for Black Girls Code and I’m sure at some point I was at one of your workshops. 

Naia: Yes! I loved it. By far my favorite class with Black Girls Code was when we worked with Raspberry Pi’s [small circuit board computers]. We connected them to little go-karts and made cars move around. That was also my favorite group of girls. I’m still in contact with a lot of them today. 

Amber:Aw, that’s so cool, I love to hear that! Yes to sisterhood!

Naia: I actually met [one of the girls] at Google one day. It’s really cool to think I met her through technology and to see she’s still interested in it—and that I’m still interested in it! I think Black Girls Code was that first introduction to a community of people that were not only interested in tech but looked like me and were interested in tech. 

Amber: What one’s lesson you carry with you from Code Next? 

Naia:As cliche as it sounds, there’s no such thing as a silly question or a silly answer; it's something that needs to be said and something to be heard. It sticks better when you’re wrong because your brain is like, “Well I don’t want to be wrong again first of all.” Sometimes, not knowing the answer is better than knowing what to do. It’s not just about knowing why answer B is right; it’s also understanding why A, C and D are wrong. You learn more when you’re not just trying to be right. I really focus on these ideas in the Creative Coding Club that I facilitate.

Amber: What are your dreams and aspirations in life? 

Naia: It goes back to the younger me living here somewhere. I want to be my own boss. That's my biggest dream. I also want to be a role model, because not only is it a tribute to my own success, but it will end up being a tribute to other black and brown girls interested in the tech field. I want to nurture and support more programs that cultivate an interest in CS from a young age.

Amber:You know, it’s already happening Naia. You’re a student ambassador for Code Next, and you are an example for so many students looking up to you. You may not know you’re in it, but you’re in it. 

Naia: What about you?

Amber: I just want to see us win. When I think about all of our leaders and all of our supporters along the way, and when I see you and what the future might look like, I’m always inspired. That’s my inspiration, my aspiration... to continue to support women like you in ways to [get into] leadership positions, so that we can then support one another.

Supporting diversity in European newsrooms

As European newsrooms seek to attract new talent, the Google News Initiative is again partnering with the European Journalism Centre to launch the 2021 Journalism Fellowship, with a new focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Starting today, students and recent graduates from 14 European countries who want to explore the intersection between journalism and technology can apply for a placement with a stipend in one of the 30 newsrooms selected by the EJC. Work placements on offer include Der Spiegel in Germany, Agence France-Presse in Paris and The Guardian in London.

The aim of the program is to provide the Fellows — chosen by the participating newsrooms — with valuable work experience over the summer months. This year, we expect many of the placements to be offered remotely, and we hope a new application process will help newsrooms to broaden their search for talent. Prior to selecting applicants, hiring managers in each news organization will be given the opportunity to learn about unconscious bias.

The European Fellowship program has run since 2016, after the original program, based in the U.S., started in 2013. Fellows receive a stipend for the duration of their placement and have access to a skills training bootcamp, including a self-empowerment workshop.

This year, the Google News Initiative and the European Journalism Centre will pilot a new alumni network program to help new Fellows connect with those from past cohorts. This will include peer-to-peer mentorship allowing Fellows to support one another with opportunities, career development and professional advice. 

Finally, as part of its ongoing partnership with the EJC, the Google News Initiative will support two News Impact Summit events in 2021, one entirely devoted to diversity, equality and inclusion, while the other will focus on data journalism. These one-day online events will feature renowned international speakers and provide training opportunities for journalists across Europe. 

Applications for The GNI Fellowship close April 25, 2021. For full application requirements, visit the fellowship website.

This research intern worked with teams in two countries

Research happens at Google everyday, on many different teams throughout the company. Elena Kirilenko conducted a research internship with both the Chrome team in Paris and the Compression Research team in Zurich. She shares what it was like to intern virtually with teams across multiple countries, and how her internship led to publication of her research and open-sourced code focused on making the internet a faster place.

How did you first get interested in technology?

I’m from Moscow, where I graduated from high school, got a bachelor’s degree and am now doing a master's program in applied mathematics and Informatics. Computer science was my number-one passion starting in ninth grade. Since then I’ve explored different areas of computer science including backend, data science, natural language processing and frontend. My main interests are now machine learning and software engineering, although I’m always open to learning new technologies and picking up new skills.

What was it like to intern virtually?

It was quite hard and unusual in the beginning, as you can’t walk through the office, engage in personal conversations or go to the canteen with your coworkers. At first it was harder to communicate because messaging or video conferences could not replace a real conversation. 

However, when I got to know Google's culture and became more confident with my project, this problem totally disappeared because it became clear that each person in Google is really responsive and there is no need to be afraid to ask questions. 

Moreover, there were a lot of exciting activities you could participate in online, like sports  and dance classes, virtual lunches, games and speaker series.

What project was your internship focused on? 

Efficiently delivering Web applications is a hard problem to solve. Compression technologies play a crucial part in solving that problem, by reducing the size of the resources that need to be downloaded over a network. Web Bundles enable servers to avoid sending to the browser resources it previously downloaded, by only sending to parts of the bundle the browser doesn't have.

This is where my research fit in. I was working on achieving fast and efficient compression for WebBundle subsets with Google’s Brotli, a general-purpose compression algorithm. High-quality Brotli compression creates small files, but takes a lot of time and processing power. As a result, it’s only feasible to apply to content ahead of time, as opposed to compressing resources as they’re being sent to the browser. . 

Brotli compresses content by calculating artifacts about it (an artifact is a piece of information, like how the content should be divided for optimal encoding), and storing them in the compressed file. High-quality compression invests time and resources in calculating the ideal artifacts for the content, resulting in smaller files and faster compression rates. My project reused the ideal artifacts for an overarching piece of content when compressing just a subset of the same content, achieving both time and processing benefits compared to regular dynamic Brotli compression.

What was the outcome of your internship? 

My code has been fully integrated into a branch of Brotli and is now ready to be deployed by users at Google, or anywhere else! We also published a comprehensive design doc describing the work done and result we achieved. If you want to learn more, there is ablog post explaining it at a higher level.

What key skills have you gained from your time at Google?

During my internship I’ve learned a lot of new things about compression algorithms and Web Bundles, which I knew almost nothing about before. I also got a big experience in writing in C and found out many interesting tricks and things you can do there that I didn’t know about. Besides that, I learned how to present the work you’ve done, structure the documentation and how to write blog posts which people may find interesting and useful.

Another thing I picked up is to take initiative. Once I became confident with my project I developed the intuition on what will work and what probably won't. I wasn’t afraid to share my ideas with my host and co-host or even tried to experiment with them on my own.

Any advice for potential intern candidates?

Don’t hesitate to ask. It’s totally OK if you can’t understand the technology you don’t know. People at Google are really open to help you and it’s really important to ask them for help, otherwise you may spend hours or even days trying to figure out something instead of doing some great work. I think communication is one of the most important aspects that drives Google.

Google Summer of Code 2021 Mentoring Orgs announced!

Google Summer of Code Header

Today, we are pleased to welcome 202 open source projects as our Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2021 mentoring organizations. While many of the organizations have participated in GSoC in previous years, we are excited to welcome 31 organizations for their first summer mentoring GSoC students.

For a complete list of the accepted organizations visit the program website where each organization has their own page with details about their org and the all important list of Project Ideas that they wish for students to work on this summer.

Are you a student interested in participating in GSoC this year?
Student applications will open on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 19:00 UTC and the deadline to submit your application is Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 19:00 UTC.

The most successful applications come from students who start preparing now. 
So remember to prepare early! Here are some proactive tips for students to accomplish before the application period begins:
  • Watch our short videos: What is GSoC? and Being a GSoC Student
  • Check out the Student Guide and Student Advice doc
  • Review the list of accepted organizations and reach out to the two or three that interest you the most now. All contact information for orgs is available on their organization page on the program site.
  • Now is the perfect time to read the Project Ideas of the orgs you are interested in and start asking questions of the mentors so you can understand the project and write a quality proposal as part of your application.
You can find more information on our website which includes a full timeline of important dates. We also highly recommend perusing the FAQ and Program Rules and watching some of our other videos with more details about GSoC for students and mentors.

A big congratulations—and thank you—to all of our mentor organizations! We look forward to working with all of you during Google Summer of Code 2021.

By Stephanie Taylor, Google Open Source

Lessons from an MBA intern turned full-time Googler

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Nikhil Nerkar, who started at Google as an MBA intern and eventually found a home and passion on the YouTube Creator and Artist Development team in Mumbai.

What’s your role at Google?

YouTube has millions of creators, and it’s a number that will keep on increasing in the coming years. As a strategic partner manager, I work directly with emerging creators to ensure that they achieve success on the platform and have a great experience. We help the creators build their channels, grow their audiences and turbocharge their reach through the platform.

Nikhil wearing a Noogler hat sitting in front of a wall made of legos.

Noogler onboarding in Singapore, April 2019.

What inspires you to come in (or log on) every day?

I get to interact with creators from different walks of life. I connect with people ranging from regional creators to celebrities, making my day creatively fulfilling. I serve as a trusted advisor for the creators, providing them with lessons learned from their data,  ensuring they are positioned for success. 

Also, I can bring my whole self to work because Google encourages an extremely collaborative, humble and positive culture. Google creates opportunities for everyone to grow professionally as well as personally. It is empowering to work for Google because the company puts its people first. 

Can you tell us about your decision to apply to Google?

I was drawn to the focus Google puts on creating a positive and trustworthy user experience. On top of that, there was a lot of buzz on my campus about the roles offered for MBA interns, and that was all the push I needed to enter the process.

Nikhil with a group of interns outdoors.

A Team-building activity for all India interns from four locations was conducted in Hyderabad in May 2018.

How did the recruitment process go for you?

Well, there are three parts to this story.  

I had initially applied to Google as an MBA intern. The interview questions were open-ended, and I remember being on my toes throughout the entirety of the interview. 

I joined as an MBA intern in the Trust and Safety Cloud Ops team at the Hyderabad office. At the end of my internship, I had an opportunity to present my findings to the director of Trust and Safety, and executives from the Cloud operations team. I expressed interest to return as a full-time employee, and my recruiter was able to tell me I had an offer in-person on my university campus. It was a great surprise! 

I was a part of the Trust and Safety team for 18 months, and then there was an opening for a Strategic Partner Manager at YouTube. Google has always encouraged internal mobility and after multiple career development conversations with my manager, I decided to apply for this role. After multiple rounds of interviews, I was offered this position. It has been a fulfilling experience for the past four months. 

Nikhil standing indoors in front of a Google sign.

Visiting fellow interns at Mumbai office in May 2018.

What do you wish you’d known when you started the application process? 

I wish I would have known how friendly and approachable the Google recruiters and the interviewer team would be throughout the process. They don’t expect you to solve everything in your first attempt, as most of the questions are open-ended. 

It's helpful to know that engaging with the interviewer, asking follow up questions, taking some time to gather your thoughts and communicating with a structured problem-solving process will help you reach a better solution. 

What resources did you use to prepare for the interview?

For preparation, I referred to Google's certification courses like Skillshop and Digital Garage. The roles, responsibilities and expectations related to the position are clearly highlighted in the job description. Another good point of reference would be the YouTube playlist called Preparing to Apply or Interview at Google. This playlist gives an overview of the hiring process and offers tips from recruiters.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Embrace your strengths, and don’t be intimidated to apply.

An open call for aspiring computer scientists

For four weeks each summer, Google works with aspiring first-year college students interested in computer science, particularly from groups that have been historically marginalized from the tech industry. But this isn’t your typical summer school: It’s an intensive, interactive, hands-on and fun program, and applications are now open for this year’s program, which runs from July 12 through August 6.

The Computer Science Summer Institute, which is online this year, features a specially designed, project-based curriculum to help prepare students for computer science studies. Students learn directly from Google engineers, and work towards designing and developing their own applications. They also participate in daily development sessions to learn about and prepare for future internships and job opportunities.

Students posing in a photo booth with hand held signs and props.

Students from Google’s 2019 CSSI program.

Google is committed to increasing the enrollment and retention of students in the field of computer science and creating opportunities that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion for future technologists. CSSI: Online is free and open to students who plan on enrolling in a four-year college or university in the U.S. or Canada, and will live in the U.S., Canada or Mexico during the duration of programming.

Group of students sitting in chairs wearing CSSI shirts.

Students from Google’s 2018 CSSI program.

The application deadline is Monday, March 29 at 11:59 pm Pacific time, and application decisions will be announced in early May. Visit the Google CSSI page for more information and to apply. 

An open call for aspiring computer scientists

For four weeks each summer, Google works with aspiring first-year college students interested in computer science, particularly from groups that have been historically marginalized from the tech industry. But this isn’t your typical summer school: It’s an intensive, interactive, hands-on and fun program, and applications are now open for this year’s program, which runs from July 12 through August 6.

The Computer Science Summer Institute, which is online this year, features a specially designed, project-based curriculum to help prepare students for computer science studies. Students learn directly from Google engineers, and work towards designing and developing their own applications. They also participate in daily development sessions to learn about and prepare for future internships and job opportunities.

Students posing in a photo booth with hand held signs and props.

Students from Google’s 2019 CSSI program.

Google is committed to increasing the enrollment and retention of students in the field of computer science and creating opportunities that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion for future technologists. CSSI: Online is free and open to students who plan on enrolling in a four-year college or university in the U.S. or Canada, and will live in the U.S., Canada or Mexico during the duration of programming.

Group of students sitting in chairs wearing CSSI shirts.

Students from Google’s 2018 CSSI program.

The application deadline is Monday, March 29 at 11:59 pm Pacific time, and application decisions will be announced in early May. Visit the Google CSSI page for more information and to apply. 

Furthering our work with HBCUs

Melonie Parker in a graduation cap and gown receiving her diploma from Hampton University.

Melonie Parker graduating from Hampton University, a historically Black research university in Hampton, Virginia.

We have a responsibility to not only increase representation of our workforce, but also work with higher education institutions to provide access and opportunities for underrepresented groups in the tech industry. As Google’s Chief Diversity Officer, it gives me great pride to continue our long-standing partnership with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUS) in order to achieve these goals.

For example, this year, we expanded our Grow with Google Career Readiness Program to 20 schools, and in our recent Tech Exchange cohort, 95% of students rated their overall experience as positive. We’ve also reached more than 4,000 students through our Google in Residence program. I’m proud that we’ve hired hundreds of students from HBCUs as a part of these joint efforts with our HBCU partners.

Now, we’re deepening our partnership with HBCUs with a new “Pathways to Tech” initiative, designed to build equity for HBCU computing education, help job seekers find tech roles, and ensure that Black employees have growth opportunities and feel included at work. To help us drive this work, we are working with HBCUs to form a tech advisory board that strengthens our existing partnership. The HBCU Tech Advisory Board is composed of four parts:

  1. HBCU Tech Advisory Board:The board will be involved in shaping “Pathways to Tech” efforts and will expand to include additional corporations in the future. 

  2. HBCU Presidents’ Council: Dr. Michael Lomax of UNCF and Dr. Harry Williams of TMCF will lead an HBCU Presidents’ Council, which will advise the board and ensure that we’re creating and executing meaningful programming that meets the needs of HBCU students.

  3. Joint Steering Committee: To set goals and drive this work forward, I will sit on a steering committee alongside Dr. Kamau Bobb, Global Lead, Diversity Strategy and Research at Google; Maria Medrano, Senior Director, Diversity Strategy at Google; Eric Hart, Chief Programs Officer at Thurgood Marshall College Fund; Chad Womack, Senior Director of STEM Programs and Initiatives; Angela Van Croft, Director, Corporations and Foundations at United Negro College Fund; and Alycia Onowho, Program Manager at Howard University.

  4. Internal Advisory Committee:I will lead an HBCU Advisory Committee that consists of senior vice presidents across Google, including product leaders and executives across Talent Acquisition, Grow with Google, Google.org and Engineering Education, to organize our efforts across the company. 

As we deepen our work together, here’s a look at some of the areas we’re focused on.

Helping to build equity for HBCU computing education 

We’ll continue to invest in programs that help students develop skills and immerse themselves in tech, and help universities and faculty establish the infrastructure and tools they need to support these students. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that when HBCU students graduate, they’ll have the skills they need to succeed in tech. 

This year, our Tech Exchange program will host 114 computer science majors, providing them with the opportunity to immerse themselves in coding classes at Google. This first-of-its-kind program is now in its fourth year, and we’ve continued to update, broaden and improve the program over the years. Through our Google in Residence program, which sends experienced Google Software Engineers to HBCU campuses for a semester to teach introductory computer science classes, we’ve reached more than 4,000 students. Through this initiative, students gain practical knowledge about what it’s like to work in the tech industry. 

Our Faculty in Residence program is an immersive professional development program that brings CS faculty from HBCUs and HSIs to Google for a four week summer residency, where they design project-based, industry-informed content and implement that content back in their classrooms.

Since 2017, we’ve invited more than 50 faculty members from 30 HBCUs to join the program.

Helping students find jobs in tech

We’ll also remain focused on helping HBCU students find and secure internships and jobs that will help them build successful careers. Last year, we launched the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program, a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which brings Grow with Google digital skills training into the career centers of HBCUs. The program recently expanded to 20 HBCUs, and aims to help 20,000 students learn digital skills by the end of the current school year. As we have in the past, we’ll continue our HBCU Campus Outreach efforts to prepare students for the tech industry with resume workshops, mock interviews and opportunities for students to develop their soft skills and technical skills through events like coding challenges and hackathons.

Creating a workplace where everyone belongs 

For students who choose to pursue a career at Google, we’re also accelerating efforts to ensure every Googler — and in particular Black students and those from other underrepresented groups — experience Google as an inclusive workplace and have the opportunity to accelerate their careers. 

We have a responsibility to help provide access and opportunities for underrepresented talent to join the tech industry. Many of the initiatives we’re working on are the first of their kind in our industry. It’s so important that we keep this momentum going.