The First Blog Post
May 30, 2017
So, this took me quite a while.
As an Outreachy intern, I’m asked to write every two weeks (more or less) about my exprience with Open Source. It took me a while, because I had a recurring thought that went something like “Hm, but I have nothing interesting to talk about. No one will care” and so on.
Well, if anyone will care I don’t know, but here are my thoughts and experiences.
I learned about Outreachy about a year ago. I read about it in a brazilian girl’s blog. Unfortunaly I don’t remember which blog to link here to, but, basically, she talked about this amazing internship opportunity aimed only at girls and following the same guidelines as Google Summer of Code.
I looked around a bit to try and understand what it was about, but didn’t really get how to participate. They tossed around all this stuff that I had to use, Pull Requests, Bugzilla, IRC and nothing made much sense to me. I left it aside at the time, but didn’t really forget about it.
A year later I was at a really different place in my life. I was finishing up a three month internship in TU Darsmstadt, where I worked with OpenCV, Python and Flask to develop an image processing software. I had a lot of time to spare, since I was living abroad in a really small town, didn’t have much to do and didn’t really know anyone. That was when I remembered about Outreachy and decided to dedicate myself to the application process.
The application for the summer internships for 2017 had just opened up. I looked around a little bit and decided to apply for two of them, both from Mozilla:
- Improve cross-browser and functional testing for webcompat.com
- Site Permission Management UI
What seemed really complex the year before suddenly became really clear once I actually tried to apply. The application process is very simple: “You need to make some contributions to the repositories of the projects that you are going to apply to” and that’s it. Of course, while you contribute, you should get in touch with the person that is listed as your mentor and also you need to fill out a form that is available in the Outreachy website.
I had heard about and used Open Source software for a while (I have been working with web development full stack for about three years now), but I never really stopped and contributed to any projects. And then suddenly I had to send in Pull Requests to this big Mozilla repository. I was nervous.
I found a ‘good first bug’ in the webcompat.com issues list and went with it. It was a really simple bug and it took me less than a day to get it fixed and send in the request. The same day, Mike Taylor, my soon to be mentor, would accept it and merge it in. I was thrilled and also I was hooked. It seemed so beautiful to me that I could just find bugs and send in requests to fix them and they would actually be heard, discussed and accepted.
I started fixing some other simple bugs in the repository. I got a rush of adrenaline everytyme a comment of mine was discussed, or I got a reaction to a comment, or an issue that I filed was considered and fixed. I even got a Pull Request denied and that was awesome. I became a part of the Webcompat.com team even before being accepted to the internship.
I ended up making a lot of minor contributions to the webcompat repository and a day after the application deadline for Outreachy, Mike added me to the Webcompat organization in GitHub. I was in.
I continued making contributions even after my acceptance and before the begginig of the internship, and now that it’s about to start, I’m really excited.
The illustration at the top was made by my good friend @onunes