#1 Outreachy Reflection: The Day of Initial Application Acceptance

Nadinda’s First Reflection of Outreachy Internship Application

This month is totally a new beginning for me. There are two big things that I feel really blessed for. First thing is to finally be able to close the distance between me in Indonesia and my husband in Australia right on our first year wedding anniversary. Even though it is neither his home country nor mine, I am so grateful to call Berlin, Germany our home for now.

Second one is I finally got the news I’ve been waiting for from Outreachy on the 1st of October 2019. To be one of 612 out of 1,774 applicants who made it to the next phase which is contribution period. The name speaks itself, this time we are challenged to make at least one contribution to our preferred open source project. We can opt for one or more projects to apply and make contribution to before we are selected as the outreachy intern for that project.

When I open up the project list straight away from the moment I read the acceptance e-mail, I felt intimidated. In addition to try to settle in a new country, it was overwhelming. But then I got reminded by how I first got motivated to join Outreachy program. Their vision to facilitate under-represented group in software development made me believe that in a really diverse community, everyone will be humble and not degrade others. It gave me the confidence boost that I need.

After a good night’s sleep, on the day after the announcement I could pull myself together. There are 78 internship projects available using variety of programming languages including C programming, C++, Java, Kotlin, Javascript, Typescript, HTML/CSS, Go, Perl, PHP, Python and even Rust. From the project list you can see what is the experience level and required skills for each project. I really like the fact that there are some projects who don’t require any prior experience. So you can be a total beginner and gain a new knowledge with the help of the mentors even before you actually do the internship.

Different kind of Projects offered through Outreachy Program

They have all different level of experience needed. No need to worry!

It took me the whole morning to read the details of each projects. It was tiresome but exciting at the same time. I decided to filter out the projects by two categories. First is a language that I’m familiar with and second is a new language that I want to learn. I sorted out several projects with java and javascript for the first category and rust as the second one.

Javascript holds the most projects with 20 projects in total and 8 projects in Java. After thinking that my java is probably a bit rusty I was hooked with the mission that Pontoon by Mozilla carry to improve the User Experience of their localization community. As I love languages, both spoken to humans and computer ;) So, I think this project ticks all the box :
✔ Aligned project vision with personal interest
✔ Using the tech stack I'm familiar with

For the new language I would like to explore is Rust. From what I read and heard it takes the advantage of C language and Java, so it definitely caught my attention. The only project that is available is Fractal, which is a gnome-based messaging app. Moreover they listed 1 for experience level which is exactly what I need to learn a completely new language. I always want to try to develop in linux environment anyway, plus it gets me to build a product that people will use real time, how cool is that?
Say yes for :
✔ Linux-based environment
✔ Possibility to learn new language

Next step is to reach out to the mentors. Most of the projects mention that the best way to contact mentors are through their public chatroom.  It was hella scary for me as I always feel shy to speak up in a public place even if it is only in the form of online presence. But then I thought I shouldn’t waste my chance and let my fear consume me. I put myself out there and it was not that bad because not only the mentors but also all of the people who are contributors, maintainers, just literally anyone in the community is all friendly and helpful to a complete beginner like me.

Fractal's public chatroom. Everyone is friendly and willing to help!

To sum up my #1stOutreachyReflection I would like to recommend this program to everyone who wants to work in software development, the one who just started or the one who wants to get better at it. Not only you will improve technically but also emotionally. You can get to know more thoroughly about yourself so that you can use it to leverage your next career step. They open for application twice every year and the next one will be open on January 22 2020. So go subscribe to their mailing list to get a reminder!

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