Google Code In 2018 Grand Prize Trip

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Introduction

Every year Google invites the Grand-Prize winners and their parents, and a mentor to it’s headquarters in San Francisco, California for a 4 days trip. I (** Rahul Chauhan Avatar of rahulnitsxr at gmail dot com (IRC nickname: "rahulworld")) was offered the opportunity to go and represent OSGeo in the summit and meet these 2 brilliant folks in person. This report covers activities and other things that happened there.

I was visiting Google San Francisco, meeting with the two winner students from Google Code-In as well as the students and mentors from the 14 other organisations participating in GCI. Our two winning students : Matthew Murzaku from the USA, and Shubham Sharma from India. Both our winners were amazing and did the tasks with great quality. I am still surprised to see their work at such a young age. I am also hoping to see them as GCI mentors or GSoC students in the future.

Day 1 (Reception)

I met with Matthew and Shubham and the other students and mentors in the Hotel lobby where there was a “meet and greet” reception in the evening. Students were given a list of traits (“Did I ride bike last week”, “can speak 3 or more languages fluently”, etc) and had a few minutes to find as much students and mentors as possible matching the traits. This was a good way for the students to get to know each other and the mentors a bit. We then stayed in the hotel lobby for some discussion or hacking.

Day 2 (Full Day at Google headquarters in Mountain View)

This day was special since we were going to explore Googleplex and talk to Google Engineers at Google Cloud office. We were also offered $75 and $150 to mentors and students respectively to buy our choice of Google Merchandise. Students met with Google employees of their home country and parted to have lunch with them. We had a line up of talks by great folks from Google.

  • Recruiting – Lauren Alpizar
  • Android OS: Ally Sillins
  • Cloud: Ryan Matsumoto
  • Chrome OS – Grant Grundler
  • Google Assistant – Daniel Myers
  • Google TensorFlow – Paige Bailey

We had Dinner at the same office and then head back to the hotel.

Day 3 (Fun Day in San Francisco)

Probably the day most of us would remember. We had option to select one of Segway tour or cable car tour. We split into 2 groups for different activities. I Selected the Segway tour. We later met for lunch in a park by the sea, and boarded the bus once again to visit the Golden Gate bridge. The day ended with a Yacht course across the bay, and we could enjoy a beautiful view of San Francisco from there.

Day 4 (Closing reception in Google SF office)

On the last day, we had to go the office a bit early. We had breakfast in the office itself followed by the award ceremony (to grand prize winners). We were given 4 minutes per org time to share something if we wished. A lot of students shared their experience with GCI. we shared a little intro on OSGeo projects and my GCI experience as mentor and Metthew shared his favourite task experience. We had lunch after than and meanwhile a video crew was taking interview of people who signed up for it. I and Matthew went for video interview. We had left the office by 3pm after taking a lot of pictures in front of the San Francisco – Oakland bridge.

People who made this possible

Thanks to every student who participated. Everyone of you were amazing and I hope to see you all. Thanks to Victoria Rautenbach, Jeff McKenna and Michael for being there when needed, and keeping the conversation alive. A very special thanks to Victoria Rautenbach for being the backbone of this. Of course all the mentors, Thank you for giving all the time and I hope to be a part of this along with all of you in the coming years.