We've been running Google Summer of Code™ for four years now, and each year gets better and better. Competition was fierce for 2008, as we received nearly 7,100 applications, almost 1,000 more than last year. We welcomed over 800 more student applicants from over 1,300 colleges and universities. We're also pleased to see that the program is growing geographically; we had participants from 90 countries in 2007, and this year we'll be hacking out with folks from 98 countries around the globe.

Today we're pleased to let you know that we're funding 1125 student developers, almost 25% more students than last year, who will work to improve over 175 Free and Open Source Projects over the next few months. Check out the program website for more details on each participating student and mentoring organization.

For those of you who aren't participating in the program, now is a great time to continue working on your project ideas and learning about Free and Open Source. Each participating project is well placed to provide you with assistance in getting up to speed as a new contributor; take advantage of this opportunity to fix some bugs, hone your skills and, if you'd like, prepare for future instances of the program.

Congratulations to all students whose proposals were accepted, and many thanks to all of our applicants. The community bonding period starts today, and we'd love to hear from all of you how you plan to spend this time getting ready to start coding in six weeks. Feel free to post a comment and share your thoughts.

Summer of Code 2008 is on!