Experiences applying to Outreachy

This is my first post as an Outreachy intern for May to August 2020 round. Let see if writer’s block banishes itself by just throwing random thoughts… 🙂

Outreachy is a remote internship, you can find all information through the website. There are many projects to choose, the project selection page has a list when applications are open. So you can choose whatever interest you more.

  • Introduce yourself, what are your core values?

My core values are fairness, meaningful work, wisdom and happiness.

I value fairness, I’m a firm believer that everyone deserves to reach their full potential as a person. I also believe in meaningful work, which contributes to society, and for every individual, has the benefits of exploiting their strengths and leading to fulfillment. I would also add wisdom in order to overcome setbacks in every life aspect and when not possible, appreciate them. All of them, for me, are in the service of happiness.

  • What motivated you to apply to Outreachy?

I was learning as autodidact -to my taste at painfully slow pace- and thought this could accelerate my learning by being able to network with experienced people. This helps you in the early steps, when you are lost and have no idea where to start. I also agree on the idea of diversity in any area -tech too-. I’m very happy and grateful for this opportunity. Finally it’s wonderful to see you too can contribute to the projects you love! My chosen project was Linux kernel.

  • What made you passionate about the project you applied to?

Nothing, Operating Systems is the most interesting topic in Computer Science, it doesn’t need to do anything to make you become passionate about! 😉

Now seriously, since my first computer I was interested of how an Operating System works, first as a user, later as a system administrator -I wasn’t a programmer-. Finally I wanted to understand how they are made and give something in return to the OSes I was using. So I started to learn programming for this and read some bits of the kernel code of open source OSes that were interesting to me. Some of them were more in the research field, others not. Alongside with related books and documentation when were available -not every project has the same amount-. This hadn’t made me an expert but able to grasp very very basic knowledge, become truly interested, and also able to make a conscious decision of which OS kernel project I wanted to join. In my case it was Linux.

  • What would you tell someone who is worried about applying to Outreachy?

Try it anyway! What’s the worst case scenario? You will learn how to start and contribute some bits in the contribution phase. Usually, it’s the start which is the most hard step. You can always continue your learning after this. And retry in the future if you want!

And the best case scenario is… to join the project you love! 🙂

If you can’t believe you can do it, I have two news for you: the bad one is you have Impostor Syndrome, and the good one is that I’m not the best programmer out there, so if I can, you can. Everyone can learn.

If you still have questions, you can ask in the public chat or mailing list of your chosen project if it’s something specific to it. If it’s more general, you can ask to the Outreachy organizers. People in the mailing list who review your code and mentors are very welcoming, patient and helpful. 🙂

Hang on, I’ll keep updating!