Dimitra not only sharpened her skills at Google Summer of Code, but also built long-lasting friendships with like-minded people while working
A third year BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing student, Dimitra Zuccarelli got a fantastic opportunity to become a part of the open source community at Google Summer of Code 2017.
Google Summer of Code
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a worldwide programme that links students up with free software, open source and technology-related organisations to write code while earning a stipend. The programme offers students the opportunity to gain experience in real-world software development, employment in areas related to their academic studies and work closely with skilled mentors.
The programme is a highly sought after with thousands of students from across the world applying each year. However, due to the competitive nature of the programme, not everyone gets accepted. Students wishing to participate must meet GSoC’s formal requirements and submit a lengthy proposal outlining why they should be selected. Dimitra’s well written proposal successfully outlined why she was a suitable candidate, and secured her position at GSoC 2017.
“We are delighted with Dimitra's achievement with the Google Summer of Code. She is a shining example of women in STEM fulfilling their potential and enjoying every moment of it,” says Ms. Mairead Meaghar – course leader of Applied Computing.
A great learning experience
Dimitra benefited greatly from partaking in such an opportunity, as ‘it was a huge learning experience’ for her. “Working within a team and closely alongside another programmer gave me insight into new and better processes, helped me develop my existing skills and of course gain many more, from technical to non, which have already given me a boost in my current placement,” Dimitra says.
Dimitra is currently doing her course related work placement at Red Hat, the world’s leading open source software solutions provider. Dimitra was not a stranger to those at Red Hat before beginning her placement, as Dr-Leigh Griffin an Engineering Manager at Red Hat supported her when applying for the position at GSoC 2017. Dr-Leigh is one of the many graduates of BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing currently working at Red Hat.
A community of coders
Since the beginning of the GSoC programme in 2005, it has brought together thousands of mentors and students from many countries across the globe. GSoC has created a community where students work collaboratively with one another to create code under an open source license so anyone around the world can use it. Through this collaboration process, strangers tend to become friends, further developing the worldwide open source community.
“I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with (who I’m still in contact with today) or a better project to work on. The experience was invaluable and I’m extremely grateful to have been a part of GSoC,” Dimitra says.