Benetech Returns to Google Summer of Code, Supporting Students in Open Source Coding Efforts

By Benetech, posted on

Benetech has been selected as a mentoring organization for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC 2014) program. This is the third year in which Google Summer of Code accepts Benetech to the program, which encourages students to participate in open source coding efforts.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, Google Summer of Code is a program that offers student developers stipends to write code for open source software projects, where they are paired with mentors. The students get to work on real world, open source development, while the participating projects benefit greatly from the new talent, ideas, and collaboration.

“The mission of Google Summer of Code aligns perfectly with Benetech’s,” says VP of Engineering Gerardo Capiel. “We are strongly committed to open source development and believe we can harness the power of technology to address pressing needs of underserved populations. We are delighted by the opportunity to inspire young developers to participate in this kind of ‘tech for good’ movement and to leverage their great talents to create lasting social impact.”

Out of 371 applications, 190 open source projects were chosen. Students apply to the program by reviewing the mentoring organization’s “Ideas Page” in order to consider which project may be the best fit. Through GSoC 2014, students not only get the opportunity to work on development projects but they also gain exposure to employment in areas related to their academic pursuits.

Benetech has entered two projects for Google Summer of Code 2014. The first is work on a new cloud-based app, MathML Cloud, designed to benefit students with visual disabilities by helping content creators and technology developers deliver accessible math to any connecting web browser or ebook reader. The second project is enhancing Go Read, Benetech’s free, Android-based ebook reader that people with visual disabilities can use to read accessible books made available through Bookshare, an accessible online library for people with print disabilities that Benetech operates.

About Benetech

Benetech is a Silicon Valley nonprofit technology company that provides software tools and services to address pressing social needs. Each of its program areas—Global Literacy, Human Rights, the Environment, and Benetech Labs—offers the greatest social impact on funds invested. Social entrepreneur and MacArthur Fellow Jim Fruchterman founded Benetech in 1989 and leads the organization as its President & CEO. For more information, please visit the Benetech website.

About Google Summer of Code
Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers post-secondary student developers ages 18 and older stipends to write code for various open source software projects. We have worked with open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund projects over a three month period. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together over 7,500 successful student participants and over 7,000 mentors from over 100 countries worldwide to produce over 50 million lines of code. Through Google Summer of Code, accepted student applicants are paired with a mentor or mentors from the participating projects, thus gaining exposure to real-world software development scenarios and the opportunity for employment in areas related to their academic pursuits. In turn, the participating projects are able to more easily identify and bring in new developers. Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all. For more information, please visit the Google Summer of Code 2014 website or subscribe to the Google Open Source Blog for the latest program announcements.