OpenAg for Outreachy and Google Summer of Code (GSoC) projects


Has anybody already discussed Outreachy (formerly Outreach Program for Women / OPW) and Google Summer of Code (GSoC)?

GSoC projects are mainly about coding (some interaction with hardware may be OK), only for students and paid by Google.

Outreachy projects can be more diverse, including coding, hardware, community, documentation, etc and the applicants are from a non-white-privileged-male background. They don’t have to be students.

Mentoring could be done from core members of the OpenAg team or any of the wider community. Has anybody mentored in Outreachy or GSoC for any other free software project before? Mozilla, one of the OpenAg backers, is also involved in these programs and may be able to share experience.

The next Outreachy round starts very soon, this page gives details about how organizations like OpenAg can join. It doesn’t give a specific deadline but it suggests that somebody from OpenAg should be in contact with Outreachy by the end of August.

Through organizing the Zurich meeting I’ve already met several people who would appear to be interesting candidates for both Outreachy and GSoC.


We should discuss this during the next meeting! (timing would be fine)


@Webb.Peter have you heard about these programs?

@Anisa is anybody from Tirana interested in the Food Computer as a possible Outreachy project? If so, could you ask them to join the forum too?


I saw this post awhile ago but I have no access to funding. We have had an unofficial intern all summer as a volunteer. @paula @OpenAgFoundation @hildreth Would be the best people to make aware of this program.


Funding is not an issue for GSoC - the money comes from Google.

For Outreachy, there are some central funds but usually each organization has to fund at least one person out of their own budget.

If there was interest in the general concept and if some meaningful projects could be devised, it may be possible to seek funding from other sources.


@pocock and @Webb.Peter - thanks for bringing this to our attention! Both sound like possible options for the future. We can look into getting set up as an organization for GSoC next summer. We currently do not have resources available for Outreachy this August, but if we aim for next year, that should give us some time to look into funding/mentorship. Thanks again for letting us know about these opportunities. Hopefully we can make it work next time around!


Hi @Webb.Peter
I am interested in being a co-mentor for this GSoC project:
I am not quite familiar with the debian community practices, but I intend to get more familiar to them in the next following months.


That’s great to hear! We’re working now to start defining the scope of work and what we’d like the project to be. Can you provide me with a bit more understanding regarding your experience/background/goals?

I myself am quite new to this process. @pocock Is very involved in the Debian community though and has served as a mentor previously for GSoC.

I know that @JakeHart is also interested in becoming a mentor as well.


I am a computer engineer with a long experience. I have experience and skills in software engineering, Linux server administration (including automating procecess with bash scripts), network engineering, etc. I also got recently the LFCA/LFCE certificates.

I have been interested in free software and open source for about 20 years. I never had a chance to contribute to Debian before, but maybe this is going to change soon (I have just installed Debian with Cinamon as my desktop, and I like it).

You can find out more about my interests and experience by looking at my profiles pages:

I was introduced to Open Agriculture by my friends @pocock and @Anisa.

Since you have not defined the GSoC project requirements yet, I hope to find some time soon and have a look at the project repositories on GitHub, and maybe I will come up with some ideas. If so, I will let you know.


Me @Anisa and @pocock will be at FOSDEM this weekend. I also have a lightning talk:

In case that other people involved with OpenAg will be there too, maybe we can arrange a short meeting, just to get to know each-other. My opinion is that online meetings cannot fully replace real life meetings.


Hi there,
I’m a student and I’m interested to involve with OpenAg through Debian and GSoC program, if someone could tell me what is the next step, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!


Google has just recently confirmed the the list of all organizations participating this year.

Debian has been accepted again but we are still having discussions in the Debian community about the number of projects that will be run under the Debian umbrella and it may be another couple of weeks before that is clear. One important point to note is that the admin team in Debian are in the process of handing over to new leaders for 2018 and this means the program may be smaller than it was in 2015 or 2016 (when we had 25 students). There are currently 23 ideas listed on the wiki but we don’t receive a guarantee how many Google will fund, we only get that feedback in April, after receiving applications. For example, if Google tells us they will fund 10 places, then the admins will have to prioritize the projects.

Although OpenAg is on the Debian ideas list, that isn’t a guarantee that every project on the list will be funded, so I want to make a few specific suggestions:

  • look for things in the OpenAg stack that are most closely related to the tools or processes we use in running the Debian community or building the Debian system. If you can demonstrate synergies that more people in the Debian community identify with it may help raise the profile of the project.
  • look through the list of all the other 214 organizations participating this year and see if any of them are also producing libraries or tools that are used as part of the Food Computer. Please share what you find here in this topic. Every student can apply to up to 3 organizations.
  • OpenAg can also apply directly to be on that list in 2019. Google opens the call for organizations at the end of each year with a deadline in January. You can subscribe to this mailing list to receive a reminder from Google before the deadline each year. The program is fully funded by Google.
  • if somebody from the OpenAg community can help monitor the #debian-outreach IRC channel on and look out for any inquiries from students that could also be helpful. Other mentors in the channel may not be able to help with queries about OpenAg.


Hi all,

I’m starting this thread to track contact from potential interns and
mentors for this project in GSoC and Outreachy.

If you are interested as a student or mentor please feel free to reply
on this thread. Projects won’t go ahead without sufficient mentors so
if you or anybody you know may be interested in mentoring that would
help a lot.

Other members of the community are also welcome to reply to individual
students, for example, if you see a student in the city where you live
please feel free to invite them to a local event.

I’m embedding a link in the wiki with this thread ID so replies from
applicants should be threaded for everybody’s convenience.

Full project details on the wiki[1].




Here is the link to the thread on the debian-outreach mailing list where some people have replied.

You can subscribe to the list here


One area where there may be strong synergies between OpenAg and several of the organizations in GSoC, including Debian, is the Calendar topic.

Renata is currently working on it for Outreachy, she has adapted the MoinMoin EventCalendar macro to export data in iCalendar format.

As the OpenAg community is using Discourse and Dokuwiki, maybe somebody could look at developing a similar plugin for one or both of these platforms, the plugin would benefit OpenAg local groups and any other community using the same tool. Several of the proposed projects under Debian involve Ruby development and as Discourse is also a Ruby application this provides another opportunity for sharing skills.

@Webb.Peter can you see any other opportunities like this? Do you already use any other tools for calendar purposes and would it be useful to have this data managed through Discourse?

@Anisa you are using Discourse in Open Labs too, would it be interesting to organize hackerspace events with a calendar plugin?


@pocock I can’t speak to the value of integration of Discourse - @hildreth may have a better idea of OpenAg’s vision for meetups/hacker events and how they would like the community to structure organize ourselves.

I manage a Slack workspace for “OpenAg STL” which is the group of startups/academics/nonprofit volunteers working together locally on open-source ag projects. I also run a Google Calendar that is synced to that platform. Another plug-in we utilize (and I know @adrianlu does as well) is Meetup.

Where would you suggest I look to find a list of tools/projects?

  • It would be great to work with someone from MariaDB - we are considering its use for the next generation of the MVP Food Computer.
  • Open Food Facts may be very interested in what we’re doing, I definitely think there is opportunity for overlap with them.
  • All of the Food Computers utilize Python heavily.


Hi, I’m interested in possibly applying for the OpenAG GSoC project this summer. I’m a graduating senior studying Biological & Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University, so there’s a bit of emphasis on the possibly part, depending on my job search results.

I did GSoC last summer as well for the FreeCAD project, which has some very interesting options for modeling the food computers and doing CFD/FEM analysis on them. I also have been looking into GNU MediaGoblin lately as a possible way of hosting FreeCAD models (using the file format .FCStd, currently MediaGoblin only supports .STL files.) Both of these might have interesting overlaps with the OpenAg project as a way of sharing & analyzing physical models, hosting pretty pictures of food (quite en vogue!) or even time-lapse videos of plant growth or behavior, like fruiting or flowering.

Since last summer I’ve also been working on the Debian packaging aspect of FreeCAD in advance of its huge 0.17 release (6000+ commits of improvements.) This involves dealing with quite a few dependencies and is still a work in progress.

Any thoughts on project ideas along those lines (integration with FreeCAD, MediaGoblin, or all three)?


Hello everyone,

I am interested in contributing to OpenAg in the best way I can and also if possible, I wish to participate in GSoC 2018 as an applicant. I am a sophomore and currently pursuing bachelors in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. I have worked few SBCs like Beaglebone, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino. I am currently working on building drivers for ARM Cortex M4 using NUCLEO-STM32F446RE , with this I have also worked with various sensors and also done some projects.

It would be great if someone gives me some links and pointers :slight_smile:


I understand your enthusiasm to make a technical contribution. I feel similarly. But, my experience has been that the opportunities here are limited unless you are willing to do a lot on your own initiative and without much guidance or feedback from the OpenAg team at MIT.

Caleb’s hardware and software team at MIT is very small–apparently just a few people with some part time and contracting work. They haven’t said much publicly in recent months. But, last week, Rob emphasized that they are very busy working to finish a new food computer design and that they don’t have much time for community discussions (see his comment in Getting the software up and running). It seems unlikely that someone on the OpenAg team would be able to serve as a GSoC 2018 mentor.

If you want inspiration for projects to try on your own, I recommend looking through the repositories at I got the impression that they don’t want pull requests though. Perhaps that will change when they announce the new designs.


I am interested in OpenAg project in GSOC 2018. I am a 2nd year BTech Computer Science at VIT Chennai, India. I have worked in IOT Project since by 2nd year. I wish to apply as an applicant. My resume link is -