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A couple of New Zealand based businesses are in on the wider opportunity for New Zealand-based trainee coders to gain invaluable experience (and pay) through Google’s Summer of Code.

University students in New Zealand will have a unique opportunity to be paid to work and create new features for some of the best known and most used software on the planet.

SilverStripe a Wellington-based, global provider of freeium based website building and content management systems based on open source software, and the R project (to perform statistical analysis) are one of a number of world-wide organisations who put their names up, and were selected, for Google’s offer.

Under the deal, developers who must be enrolled as a university student have until April 6 to apply for the mentoring roles after submitting proposals to 180 pieces of software that organisations/mentors would like some work on. (Developers and others can find out more here.

If selected, and the developer doesn’t necessarily have to be in the same country as where the organisation esides, students will receive a US$5000 stipend for the almost three month exercise. US$500 goes to the individual mentoring and providing real-world software-development exposure to students.

Students must execute to milestones laid out in their accepted project proposal, with one of Google’s goals being to “get more open source code created and released for the benefit of all.”

Oh, there will be more open source project identified and new developers ‘created’ as a result too.

Silverstripe’s Sigurd Magnusson says it is an excellent opportunity to have talented people working on his open source project that it currently couldn’t carry out. Some of Silverstripe’s software has been modified and improved by people all around the world, but having a few extra people dedicated to working on a specific project will be of great benefit to all says Magnusson.

Some of the 180 projects see here
in Africa, often working on older computers, see here, through to crowd sourcing biology see here. allowing researchers to more easily share ideas.

Other projects include some of the celebrities of the open source world, among them Apache, Debian, Git (the linux) Kernel, Mozilla (Firefox) phpMyAdmin, postgreSQL, and the software behind Wikipedia.

Silverstripe was also involved in Google’s SoC in 2007, and reselection again this year is a nice acknowledgement of their software in the global industry says Magnusson.

Magnusson was understated about SilverStripe’s strong performance in the international market, but being invited back after a previous SoC in 2007 will never be considered a bad thing.

Developers invited to a northern hemisphere ‘Summer of Code’

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