Open Source Programs you can apply for (2024 edition)

This blog has 7 open source software programs (with timelines and eligibility criteria) you can apply for as a developer or open source enthusiast.

Table of contents

  • What are open source software programs

  • List of OSS programs (overview, eligibility, application dates)

  • Summary (your favorite section)

Open Source Programs

Companies, organizations, universities and institutions organize programs to promote open source software; help students, developers and enthusiasts upskill and build valuable projects.

Note: This blog will keep being updated with newer opportunities as and when they’re announced.

Let’s get into it! 💙

List of open source programs

1. Google Summer of Code (GSoC)

GSoC will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with their upcoming 2024 program!

Some interesting stats over the past 19 years:
19,000 new contributors
19,000+ mentors
800 open source organizations*

Potential GSoC contributors contact the mentor organizations they want to work with and write a project proposal based on ideas the organization has suggested.

Once accepted, GSoC contributors spend a few weeks becoming familiar with the community norms and codebase while determining expected milestones with their mentor for the summer.

GSoC contributors then spend 12+ weeks (up to 22 weeks) coding on their projects.

What are the eligibility requirements?
Must be at least 18 years old at time of registration.
- Must be a student or an open source beginner.
- Must be eligible to work in their country of residence during duration of program.
- Must be a resident of a country not currently embargoed (boycotted) by the United States.

When do applications open? Application for contributors start from March 18 2024 to April 2 2024.

Detailed timeline: Google Summer of Code 2024 Timeline

2. Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors

A global group of on-campus ambassadors who are eager to help students and their communities, lead in their local tech circles, and develop technical and career skills for the future.

Who can apply to the program? Students from all academic backgrounds who want to grow their career and tech skills while making a difference in their communities can apply.

\Some experience in coding or technology is helpful.*

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

What are the eligibility requirements?
be age 16 or older at the time of application
- be enrolled full-time in an accredited academic institution (e.g. College, University)
- be an individual person (not a corporate entity)
- not be a Microsoft employee or current contractor

When do applications open? New students are accepted into the program quarterly.

“Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors has helped me learn, lead, and grow my community. I have made lifelong connections while solving problems locally to create impact globally.”
- Om Sharma, Nepal

Application process overview
A written sample, technology skills
- A short video introduction

For more details, check out: Microsoft Community Leader

3. MLH Fellowship by Major League Hacking

A 12-week internship alternative for aspiring technologists. A fun, educational curriculum with practical experience that you can put on your resume right away.

This is a fully remote program. You can participate from your home or anywhere else you can focus. It is divided into tracks that align with the different career interests that Fellows have.

Who can apply to the program? All students, regardless of where they live and what type of institution they attend.

Do you need to code?
You will need to be proficient in at least one programming language to participate.

Does it cost money?
No! For all Fellowship cohorts beginning January 2022 or later, there is no application fee and no cost to participate in the program itself once you are accepted.

What are the eligibility requirements?
Be at least 18 years of age
- Reside in a country not embargoed by the United States
- Able to commit at least 20 hours per week to this program
- Know how to code in at least one language
- Proficient English speaker
- Have participated in at least one MLH Hackathon or Global Hack Week event.
- Have access to a video call quality Internet connection.

Photo by Iyus sugiharto on Unsplash

When do applications open? Three 12-week programs are held per year, roughly aligning with the Fall, Spring, and summer semesters of the academic calendar.

The program pages have specific deadlines and timing for each batch. However, applications are processed on a rolling basis.

Can the MLH Fellowship be used for college/university or Internship credit? Yes. Check the website below to learn more.

Is this considered an internship, job, or any form of employment? No. It is an educational fellowship program. You may receive an educational stipend as part of your participation to help offset living and educational expenses during the course of the program.

Can you apply to multiple programs?
No, you’ll only be able to apply for 1 program per Batch.

How are fellows matched to the programs?
Qualified applicants are matched to educational projects based on a variety of factors. Some of them are: Relevant programming language, framework, or tooling experience; time zone, and weekly availability.

For more details, check out: Fellowship Portal — MLH Help Center

✨ Success story: How the MLH Fellowship Helped Me Land My First Job at Microsoft

4. Linux Foundation Mentorship Program

To help developers with necessary skills — many of whom are first-time open source contributors — experiment, learn, and contribute effectively to open source communities.

💰 Stipend: $3000 to $6000

\They start with a base amount of 6,000 USD and then adjust it based on each country’s PPP value.*

Who can apply to the program? Anyone.

What are the eligibility requirements?
- Be at least 18 years old by the time the mentorship program starts.
- Not be a prior or active participant in another Linux Foundation mentorship program.
- Be eligible to work in the country and jurisdiction where you will be participating in the Mentorship program.

Find more here.

When do applications open? Thrice.

- March 1st — May 31st
- June 1st — August 31st
- September 1st — November 30th

Application process overview 1. Create a Mentee profile
2. Apply to (max 3) mentorship programs
3. Receive confirmation

More details: Schedule & Timelines — Linux Foundation Documentation OR Linux Foundation (

5. GitHub Campus Expert Program

Learn the skills to build and grow diverse technology communities on campus with training, mentorship, and support from GitHub.

Who can apply to the program? Any student with the GitHub Student Developer Pack can apply to the program.

Do you need to have a technical background? Students from all backgrounds (designers, journalists, mathematicians, etc.) can apply.

What are the eligibility requirements? - Be at least 18 years of age.
- Validate your student status through the GitHub Student Developer Pack.
- Be enrolled in a post-secondary formal education institution.
- Have more than one year left as a student before graduating.
- Be a GitHub user for at least six months.
- Not be enrolled in the GitHub Campus Advisors Program.

When do applications open? Applications to the program open twice a year, in February and August. The application remains open for a month and you can apply once every application cycle.

Application process overview 1. Get the GitHub Student Developer Pack
2. Complete the application form
3. Submit a video resume
4. Get accepted
5. Complete the training

For more details, check out: Campus Experts — GitHub Education

6. Outreachy Internships

A paid, remote internship program — helping newcomers to free software and open source make their first contributions.

💵 Paid — $7,000 USD total internship stipend
🌍 Remote — both interns and mentors work remotely
🕰 3 months — internships run from May to August, or December to March

Who can apply to the program? Both students and people who are not students are welcome to apply to Outreachy.

What are the eligibility requirements?
You must be 18 years of age or older by May 27, 2024
- You must be available for a full-time internship.

When do applications open? Outreachy offers both mid-year and end-of-year internships.

Application process overview
- Essay questions
- No resumes or references

For more details, check out: Applicant Guide | Outreachy Documentation

7. Google Season of Docs

Google Season of Docs is intended for people with some technical writing experience, it is not designed as a mentoring program like GSoC.

“The current Google Season of Docs program has significant changes from prior years.”

  • Organizations submit project proposals as part of their application (with a budget and proposed metrics).

  • Accepted organizations receive grants — to be used to pay technical writers.

Detailed timeline: Google Season of Docs 2024 Timeline | Google for Developers

TL; DR (Summary)

  1. Google Summer of Code (GSoC)

  2. Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors by Microsoft

  3. MLH Fellowship

  4. Linux Foundation Mentorship Program

  5. GitHub Campus Expert Program by GitHub Education

  6. Outreachy Internships

  7. Google Season of Docs

I hope this helped!

Don’t forget to follow Scoutflo on X/Twitter and LinkedIn. And stay tuned for a VERY exciting announcement!

Sign up here if you haven’t yet :)

Open Source FTW 💙