Writing code may not have the same appeal as lifeguarding at the pool this summer — sun, swimming and plenty to look at — but it could add a line item to your résumé that would open a lot of doors after graduation. Google is taking applications for its 2012 Summer of Code to kick-start the careers of young programmers. For the past seven years, Google has helped match companies that need code written for open-source projects with college students who have computer coding skills . Open-source projects are collaborative and the code is available to the public — Google products are based on open-source coding. This year, projects from 180 institutions, including Mozilla and Twitter, have been approved to participate in the Summer of Code. And it's not one of those prestigious unpaid internships. Google pays students $5,000 for the summer, and they can also receive course credit for the work. Most participants are computer engineering or computer science majors, but that's not a requirement. Google expects to fund about 1,100 students for this year's program, comparable to 2011. You must be 18 or older to apply. Interested students can choose from projects on the Google Summer of Code website and then submit a proposal based on their interest and matching skills. Applications are due April 6 and winners will be announced April 23.