Google's Summer of Code

Google Summer off CodeI had no idea Google even had this initiative until I read a mention of it in some random article last week, but apparently every summer for the past 5 years Google has held a "Summer of Code". It's a really neat initiative in which companies submit projects for which students apply. They receive mentorship and guidance, and are evaluated at the end of the project.

This year, over 2000 mentors and 1000 students participated. 85% of students were positively evaluated at the end of the project, which is the highest number in the 5-year history. You can read the summary of this summer's program here.

According to a Wikipedia entry about the project, the idea of "Summer of Code" came from Google's founders and the name is derived from "Summer of Love".

What a great initiative! I am not a coder by any means. And I barely knew about co-op programs when I was in school. In fact, I have a business degree, specializing in Human Resources. So, everything I know about the Interwebs, I learned on the job. Of course, that's a great way to learn, but it feels like it takes forever.

I just love programs that enable students to obtain real-world experience while they are still in school. I've been lucky enough to work in some companies that have supported the hiring of student employees, co-ops and interns. They've usually been valuable resources and generally positive experiences.

Have you participated in (or even run) a great student program? Let me know... leave a comment!