(Cross-posted on the Open Source blog.)

Editor's note: We're celebrating Computer Science Education Week through December 13, and hope to inspire students to explore CS all year long. Code-in is a great opportunity for students to start on their 'second hour of code' and beyond.


For the sixth year running, teens from around the world now have the chance to learn and develop new CS skills by competing in Google Code-in (GCI). By working on real software projects—with help from mentors along the way—students just starting out with Computer Science can begin to investigate and discover the countless opportunities at their fingertips through code.


During the seven weeks of Google Code-in, pre-university students (ages 13-17) can browse hundreds of tasks created by 14 open source organizations. Students then get to choose the tasks they find most intriguing. A wide variety of skills and interests are required to make any software project work, so the tasks in Google Code-in are designed to reflect that diversity. Students can choose to work on projects across documentation, coding, training, research, quality assurance, user interface and outreach tasks.

The 14 organizations students can work with during the contest encompass many fields: health care for developing countries, learning activities for elementary students, desktop and portable computing, the encouragement of young women in computer science, game development, to operating systems used in satellites and robots.

Each task has at least one mentor assigned to it - not only to review the student’s work, but to help answer questions along the way. Each organization also offers beginner tasks that give students who are newer to open source development an easy and clear place to get started. Another goal of the contest is to encourage students to find a coding community that they enjoy working with and hopefully become an active contributor for years to come.

Over the last 5 years, over 2,200 students from 87 countries have successfully completed tasks by participating in Google Code-in. To celebrate CS Ed Week this year, please help us introduce even more young minds to open source software development through Google Code-in. To learn more about Google Code-in— including rules and FAQs—please visit the site and the Getting Started Guide.