ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume V-5-2020
03 Aug 2020
 | 03 Aug 2020


C. Green and V. Rautenbach

Keywords: Google Code-in, pre-university students, open source, OSGeo

Abstract. Many open source software communities rely on volunteer contributors and it is important to motivate, engage and retain members of the community to ensure long term sustainability of the community and software. Barrier to entry can be a problem for new developers and can stop them from contributing to large projects. It is important to mentor and guide new volunteers in an open source project and organisation such as OSGeo. The question is then raised how can open source organizations bridge this gap and bring younger developers into the organizations and ensure that they remain, in order to contribute something meaningful? OSGeo participated for a third time in Google Code-in (GCI). Google Code-in is an online competition that introduces teenagers (13–17 years) to open source development over the course of seven weeks. In the 2019 Google Code-in, there were 29 participating open source organisations, over 3000 students from more than 75 countries that completed 13 000+ tasks. During GCI, OSGeo had the lowest number of mentors in its three years of the competition but its highest number of completed tasks. Many of the submissions from the students was of a high standard and some of the task submissions got accepted into the projects. Having new developers in any open source community is key to the survival of the community and retaining them is also key to the longevity of any of the projects and it gives them time to contribute something meaningful.