(Cross-posted from the Google Open Source Blog)

Despite the recent devastating floods in Australia, the open source community is converging on Brisbane this week for the annual linux.conf.au (LCA). The LCA team “encourages everyone to still come to Brisbane and support local business and the community - we need your support.” Monday during the introductory session at LCA, Carol Smith, member of the Google Open Source Programs Office, proudly announced Google Summer of Code 2011.

This will be the 7th year for Google Summer of Code, an innovative program dedicated to introducing students from colleges and universities around the world to open source software development. The program offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects with the help of mentoring organizations from all around the globe. Over the past 6 years Google Summer of Code has had 4,500 students from over 85 countries complete the program. We are excited to announce that we will extend the scope of the program this year by targeting a 25% increase in accepted student applications as well as accepting a larger number of mentoring organizations. Our goal is to help these students pursue academic challenges over the summer break while they create and release open source code for the benefit of all.

Spread the word to your friends! If you know of a university student that would be interested in working on open source projects this summer, or if you know of an organization that might want to mentor students to work on their open source projects, please direct them to our Google Summer of Code 2011 website where they can find our timeline along with the FAQs. And stay tuned for more details coming soon!