In June, at the company’s Mountain View headquarters and in Hyderabad, India, dozens of Google employees participated in SocialCoding4Good events through this year’s GoogleServe, an annual volunteer service where Googlers come together to give back to their communities. In particular, Benetech is thrilled that they were able to contribute their skills to help advance accessibility for students with print disabilities.
Palo Alto, California, March 26, 2014—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.
Ever wonder how new features come into being within Benetech’s suite of products? Let’s take a short, virtual trip into the world of software product development at Benetech. I’m Ginny Grant, one of the Product Managers in Benetech’s Global Literacy Program. I’d like to focus here on some of the critical final steps in our product development process. These include passing tests that our professional Quality Assurance (QA) team performs as well as passing our “alpha testing sessions,” which we sometimes refer to as “Bugfests”!
My name is Anuruddha Hettiarachchi and I am a senior at the University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka majoring in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering. My Google Summer of Code 2013 project was to integrate Benetech’s Go Read tool and “Tecla Access.” 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 name is Jordan Gould and I am from Brantford, Ontario, Canada, a town about an hour south of Toronto. I am currently in my second year of Computer Science at The University of Western Ontario. I found the Benetech projects interesting because I am a person with low vision and have in the past used DAISY formatted books on CD with a specialized CD player. Since smartphones and tablets are more ubiquitous now, I believe that contributing to Go Read can help expand access and usability of DAISY books in an academic environment.