OpenDaylight, the open source software-defined networking (SDN) project sponsored by the Linux Foundation, turned one year old this week. And in the hope of celebrating many more birthdays to come, the project has announced a summer internship program designed to help grow the next generation of open source SDN developers.

OpenDaylight was founded April 7, 2013 as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project designed to promote open source SDN solutions. It has grown steadily since then, adding new enterprise partners to the line-up of founding organizations and helping to advance development of open source SDN solutions, such as OpenFlow.

So far, most of OpenDaylight's collaboration across the channel has been with industry partners. Starting this week, however, the project hopes to expand its reach into academic circles by launching the summer internship program, which will allow five students to work remotely on a development project related to OpenDaylight in conjunction with a mentor from the project. Students will receive stipend payments over the course of the internship, and can propose to work on one of the projects that are already on OpenDaylight's radar, as well as on an original initiative relevant to the platform.

Recruiting student interns may not immediately pay the same dividends as collaborating with professional academic developers, but OpenDaylight executive director Neela Jacques said the opportunity will give the next generation of developers real-world exposure to a key emerging open source technology.

"Participating in a project like OpenDaylight gives a student an unparalleled chance to gain broad exposure to a range of technologies, developers and technology providers, while writing real code for the project," he said.

The application deadline for the internship program is April 25. Details are available online.