Starting Early – Open Source through Google Code-in

Short Form


A talk about Google Code-in experience, the opportunities it provides for high school students, why we need more programs/contests like this, and the importance of mentorship to younger contributors.


Google Code-in is the largest international open source competition for high school students, receiving a participating audience of 1340 students in 2016. However, considering the number of student programmers in the world, this is a mere percentage of them.

Google Code-in not only provides an opportunity for students to be introduced to open source programming, but also connects students to different projects and companies. It also spurs open source project maintainers to become mentors for young contributors, an important skill even in real life.

Joshua will be speaking about his Google Code-in experience and the opportunities given to him through the companies Copyleft Games and Zulip. He will also talk about general opportunities seen throughout Google Code-in for high school students and give advice on how to get young coders to participate in such programs and contests.

Finally, he will speak on why programs like Google Code-in are impactful to open source communities and the future of open source projects, as Google Code-in and similar programs are rare. He will also discuss what makes a good mentor good and helpful to a mentoree.


high school, Open Source, google code-in, opportunities, student

Speaking experience

Joshua has given talks on his original research in the environmental sciences field on using remote sensing techniques to predict strawberry yield. Presentation slides:

He has also given talks in literature on antimorphosis and representability of the Holocaust. Presentation slides: Presentation notes:

Joshua has never spoken at a conference before and has never given this talk before.


  • Joshuapan 1bf0450e be65 4d8a a6e2 f4b4d2642d48

    Joshua Pan



    Joshua Pan is a student attending Proof School (San Francisco, CA). His background in programming came from his competitive programming experience. He got introduced to open source programming through Google Code-in, which he was awarded Grand Winner in 2016 for his contributions to Copyleft Games.

    Joshua is an active contributor to Zulip, a powerful, open source group chat application, and is a lead developer of zulipbot, a GitHub workflow bot for Zulip. In his free-time, Joshua enjoys playing basketball, solving math and physics problems, and playing drums and ukulele. He also enjoys writing on Quora.