Google Summer of Code - Modernising Normal Editing and Bevel in Blender (And tribute to GSOC)
GSoC has provided some major improvements in Blender. Some notable works being the projects done to add normal editing in Blender, along with bringing the Bevel modifier up to date. From having basic normal editing support in Blender which changed the shading to just a smooth vs sharp object, to adding even a Weighted Normals Modifier and critically used functionality such as Point normals to target is a nice addition. Bevel has also seen some big improvements like adding custom profile curves. Blender each day is not just going on par, but now setting industry standard in the domain of 3D Graphics.
One critical platform that has supported this development is Google Summer of Code. Back in 2006, GSoC helped adding the modifier stack in Blender. Back then Nils added Fluid animation in blender. Moving from then to some big advancements in Cycles, To my own work in Normal Editing & Bevel, and mentoring the custom bevel profiles project. Google has helped keep Blender free and open source, available for everyone with the touch of a button.