Application process for Outreachy

Hi there! My name is Maari and I was accepted as an intern to the Outreachy December 2019 to March 2020 round. Outreachy provides internships to work in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and I will be working on OpenStack Client integration project. 

So how did I get here?

The first step before anything I needed to submit an initial application to Outreachy. It took me some time to get it submitted, since I was thinking quite a lot about the questions before coming up with my answers. Needless to say, I was over the moon to get through to the next round.

In the next round, I needed to choose project(s) to apply to. In order to apply for a project, at least one contribution for it is needed.  A contribution can be, for example, a small bug fix. 

At the beginning of the second round I was sure that I will be making more than one contribution to a project and maybe even submit an application for more than one project. Well, that did not happen… These projects are big and so are the learning curves. Even if you might figure out how to fix a bug, setting up the development environment might take way longer than you expected if you can manage at all (while being like me, not so experienced in the field yet) and so on. I found out quite fast that for those hours in the evenings, I was counting on (having a full-time job during the application process), I had barely any brain power left to take on this kind of a challenge. Also I tend to get a bit overwhelmed at start of a new project that has a lot of new information. I start doubting my abilities, impostor syndrome and all that. With that being said, the contribution period was long enough for me to get past all of that and of course the support from my mentor from OpenStack helped me the most. 

To get in touch with the OpenStack Manila team, I set up an IRC account and joined the chat. The steps on how to get in touch with the team and mentor are nicely documented on the Outreachy page in every project’s details. The OpenStack team was really welcoming, supportive and helpful, especially my mentor. She helped me choose a bug and supported me throughout making my first contribution. Could not have made it here without her!

So thanks to my awesome mentor, Victoria, I managed to make a contribution and submit my final application to OpenStack Client integration project for Manila. This was also my very first contribution to a FOSS community. I am rather shy and not that confident in my skills yet, so having a mentor and a supportive team will help me tremendously to become a member of the community. I am so excited to have this opportunity and to take the most out of this experience.