OSU Winter of Code

The OSU Winter of Code is an educational program modelled on the successful Google Summer of Code. The basic idea is that an Open Source organization or student submits one or more projects that they would like to see completed, and would be willing to help use as a tool to mentor new students. Projects are awarded a "bounty", which is either $500 or $2000, depending upon the project size and significance. Upon completion of the project to the satisfaction of the sponsoring organization, the OSEL (not the sponsoring organization) pays the student the bounty.

While the students participating in the WOC program are learning valuable job skills, the emphasis of the program is educational, not simply earning an hourly wage. In the selection of students for the program preference will be given to those with an enthusiasm to learn new skills, and who have not already had the sort of experience and training that we hope the WOC will provide. On the other side, sponsoring organizations are not only expected to provide a degree of mentoring, but should also keep in mind the educational nature of the arrangement.

Instructions for Students

Students interested in participating in the OSU Winter of Code should first examine the List of Sponsored Projects. If a project looks interesting, the student should then submit an application to the OSEL. Alternatively, the student can also submit their own project idea for consideration. The application should include the following information

  • Your name, major, and year in school
  • The project of interest
  • A brief description of your background, previous jobs, computer languages and platforms you have worked on.
  • A short (one to three paragraph) essay in which you describe your interest in open source, and why you are interested in this particular project.

Application to the WOC does not guarantee acceptance into the program. As indicated above, preference will be given to those students who best meet the educational objectives of the program; that is, those who show a strong desire to learn, and have not already had extensive experience in open source projects.

Successful completion of one bounty does not preclude application to subsequent bounties. In particular, the smaller projects (those awarded a $500 bounty) are meant as small learning experiences. These frequently will lead to a student becoming confident enough to undertake one of the larger projects.

Instructions for Sponsoring Organzations

Any organization developing open source applications, or any student currently enrolled at OSU, is eligible to submit project ideas for consideration by the OSEL. Note that the bounty is paid by the OSEL, not the sponsoring organization. On the other hand, the sponsoring organization is expected to provide assistance and mentoring to the student. Sponsoring organizations must understand that this is an educational program, and not simply a source of student labor. Companies seeking a more structured arrangment, with deadlines, deliverables, and so on are urged to talk with our sister organization, the Open Source Lab. The OSL has many arrangments with a variety of companies where they hire, direct and manage groups of students working on specific applications.

Sponsoring organizations are encouraged (but not required) to contribute to the OSEL to support on-going projects such as this.


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