Meet Our Google Summer of Code 2013 Students—Part 3

By Benetech, posted on

This summer, for the second consecutive year, we partnered with Google Summer of Code. Thanks to this excellent program, we had the opportunity to work with three wonderful students: Jordan Gould, Yashasvi Girdhar and Anuruddha Hettiarachchi.

All three have worked on open source projects (on which you can read more in our recent blog) that improve the usability of Bookshare for a diverse population of individuals with print disabilities.

We asked Jordan, Yashasvi and Anuruddha to tell us about their internship experience and some of their takeaways. Yashasvi’s and Jordan’s stories appeared on our blog last month. Today, in this third and final part of our blog series, we’re sharing Anuruddha’s story.

Graphic of Benetech's logo, a globe with a binary code.

Anuruddha Hettiarachchi

My name is Anuruddha Hettiarachchi and I am a senior at the University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka majoring in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering. I have been a Java developer for more than four years and an Android developer for more than a year. Last year, I spent my summer at Singapore University of Technology and Design, researching mobile interfaces and sensor networks for children and people with hearing impairments. This experience made me interested in mobile software development and assistive technology. It also inspired me to select Benetech’s Go Read accessible eBook reader for Android phones and tablets as the focus of my Google Summer of Code 2013 project.

My project was to integrate Go Read and “Tecla Access.” Tecla is a set of open source tools that facilitate switch access to mobile devices for people with mobility impairments. Throughout my internship, I explored how Go Read should be modified to support Tecla accessibility. Making Go Read Tecla-accessible will greatly improve its usability for people who cannot read standard eBooks due to mobility impairments.

This was my first experience with open source development and I had the opportunity to learn how much collaboration and teamwork are central to real world open source software projects. It was a pleasure to work with such a flexible and supportive team as Benetech’s Google Summer of Code crew. My special thanks go to my mentor, Meghan Larson, for her great support and guidance. I would also like to thank Rom Srinivasan and Gerardo Capiel for their support throughout the program. Without their support I wouldn’t have made it!

Looking Ahead

We were delighted to work with our second cohort of Google Summer of Code students and wish all three of them great success in their future endeavors. We’re looking forward to collaborating again with Google Summer of Code on future projects.

The Google Summer of Code 2013 program is now over, but the Google Open Source Blog continues to publish wrap up posts from this year’s Mentoring Organizations each Friday through the end of the year. Stay tuned to this blog for Benetech’s wrap up post.