Python Summer of Code

Students: get paid to work on open source projects!

Projects: find new contributors and mentor the next generation!

What is it?


Python is a popular high-level programming language. It is a general-purpose language used by scientists, developers, and many others who want to work more quickly and integrate systems more effectively.

Google Summer of Code

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program that offers post-secondary students an opportunity to be paid for contributing to an open source project over a three month period.

The Python Software Foundation (PSF) is an organization devoted to advancing open source technology related to the Python programming language. Since 2005, the Python Software Foundation has participated in Google Summer of Code, serving as an "umbrella organization" to a variety of Python-related projects, as well as sponsoring projects related to the development of the Python language. Python provides mentors, Google provides the program (and the money!), and students write code!

Students: You're early! We won't know much about projects or sub-orgs until February. But now is a good time to practice contributing. *Any* experience in open source will help you later, so don't worry too much about finding the "right" thing to do until February, and just get some practice. Not sure where to start? You may find our Python GSoC getting started guide useful.

Mentors: We're accepting new sub-orgs! Contact the org admins to get the signup link if interested.

How do I get started?

Choose an organization.

There's hundreds of thousands of projects that use Python, and you need to narrow down the list before you can get help or do much that's useful. See How do I choose a project or sub-org? for ideas on how to do that.

Any open source experience will help you prepare for GSoC, so don't worry too much about what project you try first and don't be afraid to change your mind! When we know which sub-orgs will be participating, they'll be listed with the project ideas.

Set up your own development environment.

Document what you do so you can remember it later, and so you can help others if they get stuck! And if you get stuck, don't be afraid to ask for help.

Start communicating with the developers.

Join the mailing list, IRC channel, or any other communication channels the developers use. Listen, get to know the people involved, and ask questions.

  • Read first to see if your question has already been answered. We get a lot of repeat questions!
  • Communicate in public (not in private). Most open source work is done in the open, so demonstrate that you can do that!

Try to fix a bug.

Many projects have these tagged as "easy" "bite-size" or "beginner-friendly" -- do a search to see what comes up. Competition for the easiest ones can be fierce, so don't be afraid to try something harder if you think you might know what to do.

Can't find a bug? Other ideas: find typos and fix them. Improve test coverage by writing new tests. Improve documentation. Use a tool like Pylint or Bandit to see if you can find new issues.

Find bugs and report them.

Hopefully you won't encounter too many, but it's always a good idea to get familiar with your project's bug reporting process.

Help with documentation.

As a beginner in your project, you're going to see things that are confusing that more experienced developers may not notice. Take advantage of your beginner mindset and make sure to document anything you think is missing!

Help others.

Most projects are looking for not just coders, but good community members who people like to work with. Show your community skills by helping others and make a great impression come selection time!

How to apply

Short application checklist:

  1. Read the links and instructions given on this site -- All of it! we've tried to give you all the information you need to be an awesome student applicant.
  2. Choose a sub-org (check the list here). Applications not associated with a sub-org typically get rejected.
  3. Talk with your prospective mentors about what they expect of student applicants and get help from them to refine your project ideas. Listening to your mentors' recommendations is very important at this stage!
  4. Prepare a patch for that sub-org. Usually we expect students to fix a bug and have made a pull request (or equivalent). Your code doesn't have to be accepted and merged, but it does have to be visible to the public and it does have to be your own work (mentor help is ok, code you didn't write is not).
  5. Write your application (with help from your mentors!) The 2019 application template is available here. All applications must go through Google's application system; we can't accept any application unless it is submitted there.
    • Use a descriptive title and include your sub-org name in Google's system. Good example: "Mailman: Improve archive search" Bad example: "My gsoc project"
    • Make it easy for your mentors to give you feedback. If you're using Google docs, enable comments and submit a "draft" (we can't see the "final" versions until applications close). If you're using a format that doesn't accept comments, make sure your email is on the document and don't forget to check for feedback!
  6. Submit your application to Google before the deadline. We actually recommend you submit a few days early in case you have internet problems or the system is down. Google does not extend this deadline, so it's best to be prepared early! You can edit your application up until the system closes.


Communication is probably the most important part of the application process. Talk to the mentors and other developers, listen when they give you advice, and demonstrate that you've understood by incorporating their feedback into what you're proposing. We reject a lot of students who haven't listened to mentor feedback. If your mentors tell you that a project idea won't work for them, you're probably not going to get accepted unless you change it.

What goes in an application?

An ideal application will contain 5 things:
  1. A descriptive title including the name of the sub-org you want to work with (if this is missing, your application may be rejected!)
  2. Information about you, including contact information.
  3. Link to a code contribution you have made to your organization. (Usually this is a link to a pull request.)
  4. Information about your proposed project. This should be fairly detailed and include a timeline.
  5. Information about other commitments that might affect your ability to work during the GSoC period. (exams, classes, holidays, other jobs, weddings, etc.) We can work around a lot of things, but it helps to know in advance.

Getting in Touch

Please note that Python has a Community Code of Conduct and mentors and students working with the PSF are asked to abide by it as members of the Python community.

Mailing Lists.

Sign up to the gsoc-general(at) mailing list to get updates, reminders, and to discuss questions. Please join the list before you send a message!

The most common questions are answered here:

IRC / Live chat

Our IRC channel is #python-gsoc on (Don't know IRC? Learn more at

  • Please wait for an answer! Many mentors are busy and can't chat right away.
  • You can access this channel many ways! They all connect together using magic provided by Warthog9.

Specific sub-orgs

To talk with people from a specific sub-org, check their ideas page listing for their mailing lists, IRC, and other contact information.


  1. Read first. We've tried to answer the common questions on this site, and we get asked things like "How do I get started?" and "Where do I find easy bugs?" a lot. Check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the student page for more!
  2. Be Patient! Our mentors typically have day jobs and can't always answer right-away. If you can't hang out on IRC for an answer, send an email instead.
  3. Ask questions directly on IRC. You don't need to introduce yourself or say hi first, just ask away!
  4. Communicate in public. That lets many mentors read your question so you can usually get an answer faster.

For mentors: All the gsoc admins can be reached at gsoc-admins(at)python(dot)org if you have questions about participating. (Students should email gsoc-general(at) with all of their questions, unless they are of a sensitive personal nature.)

Org admins

The 2020 Python Software Foundation (PSF) org admin team:

  • Terri Oda (terri on IRC) - focus areas: figurehead, making final decisions, website/documentation
  • John Hawley (warthog9 on IRC) - focus areas: infrastructure, advice, emergency mentoring/mentor supervision.
  • Matthew Lagoe (Botanic on IRC) - focus areas: student blogs, irc bot, making sure things happen on time
  • Kushal Das (kushal on IRC) - focus areas: advice, time zone coverage

The org admins can be reached at gsoc-admins(at)python(dot)org (for mentors) Students should almost always visit Getting Started first, and email gsoc-general(at) only if you get stuck.

We also have some "org admins emeritus" who may be able to help you:

  • James Lopeman (meflin on IRC)
  • Florian Fuchs (florianf on IRC)
  • Stephen Turnbull (yaseppochi on IRC)

Other Stuff