Every year Google pays students to do work for several open source software organizations. They call it the Summer of Code, although for people like me it will be the Winter of Code; see my previous post (English translation).
I will work for OpenStreetMap which is an effort to create a detailed map of the world with no nasty copyright restrictions. Like Wikipedia, they allow everyone to contribute to this map. I for example added a few things in my neighbourhood.
Since the world is pretty big I expect to learn a lot about scaling a database application. Perhaps, if time allows and if I get an invitation, I could even outsource the scaling work to the Google App Engine.
Another new thing that I want to try is the Git version control system: you can watch Linus Torvalds talk about it:
Of course, in the end it is all about one thing: the free T-Shirt! I will write more about my project later.