Attending OSCAL 2018 in Tirana, Albania

<Pictures, Slides, URLS will be added on Monday>

I wrote a post on all my travels during May. One of my trips was to Tirana, Albania for OSCAL conference organized by Open Labs.I feel lucky to be given the opportunity to be a part of the experience – not just as a speaker but also a learner.

Open Labs is fuelling the open source movement in Albania starting from building a community from the grassroots in Tirana, Albania – and they have done an awesome job at it! The Open Labs community is warm, welcoming, inclusive and inquisitive (and women are the majority! Yaay, fem power!).

I learnt a lot of things about open source, hardware, different projects and communities and got to meet people behind them. I was representing the Fedora community and doing outreach and spreading awareness about our project, our community with a primary focus on getting more women into Fedora and open source. The audience at OSCAL is unique in the sense that a lot of them are female (about 70 percent of open lab members are female) and are university students or recent graduates.

I had three sessions at OSCAL – a community meetup for ‘ Women in Open Source’ and their supporters, a presentation on ‘How to get paid to do open source?’ and a workshop on Machine Learning. We also had a Fedora community meetup and Fedora 28 release party! It was definitely a packed conference for me. Thankfully, Renata and I were doing the meetup and presentation together!

We had a lot of participants in community meetup for ‘ Women in Open Source’ – from different walks in their open source journey. Some were newcomers and wanted to get involved while others wanted to learn how their companies or projects could shift and collaborate with other open source communities. There was a lot of buzz around different open source projects and especially Fedora! We even had a few high school students as attendees and people were promoting open positions at their companies! The time was not enough and in the end, we were both being asked questions about internships and contributing to open source! Also, it was not just all girls and I was glad to see our male allies there too! Did I mention the chairwoman of The Document Foundation, Marina Latini was there? It feels so awesome to meet one of your role models in real – and the meet up was a pathway to that for me – and I hope I could do it for others too!

During our talk on ‘How to get paid to contribute to open source’, Renata and I talked about different paid opportunities including internships, fellowships, project grants and job offers and how to search and apply for them! Personally, I always feel like I find such awesome opportunities after their deadline is over and I hoped our talk would avoid that for others. If you are interested, you can find our slides online. While prepping for the talk, I myself learnt about a lot of new opportunities. Also, we used the opportunity to highlight the importance of subscribing to different mailing lists and job boards – especially, if you are a women or from other underrepresented community! My personal advice:

Open source has a lot of paid opportunities too –  Don’t be shy! Don’t doubt yourself! There are a lot of resource and support for you out there! Take advantage of them!

On the afternoon on the same day (yes, I know!), I had my Machine Learning workshop. I talked about different machine learning applications and taught the fundamentals of some basic algorithms. The audience was very engaged and I hope they learnt or atleast became interested in Machine Learning after. I also talked about Open source in machine learning world and how different FOSS communities are using machine learning. We wanted to try and implement a small algorithm during the session but the time was less and attendees didnt know Python – so it was a dead end! However, I showed them one of my notebooks, introduced them to common ML libraries like numpy, pandas and scikit learn and how to use them and pointed them towards learning resources for both Machine Learning and Python!

When I was not presenting, I was at the booth with the Fedorator! There were a lot of people dropping by who used Windows and I spent a lot of time discussing about advantages of Linux distros like Fedora. Few people asked us for the CD and how to install – but we had the Fedorator to save the day! There were also some intense discussions on modularity in Fedora, Fedora spins and on getting involved with the community! Since the OSCAL venue was a public heritage site just open for the conference, a lot of tourists and locals who didn’t know about open source dropped by and hopefully, learnt about open source from us! This was also the first time we tried to have a hack challenge at Fedora booth during the conference. We had a poster and promoted this hack challenge at booth and meetups. People who contributed during OSCAL could get an OSCAL attendee badge. Easy contributions which were promoted for hack challenge:

* Translate strings from english to albanian in zanata

* Fedora easyfix issues

* Tagging packages

* testing bodhi kernel/ updates

A lot of people were interested in the whatcanidoforfedora.org and easyfix issues website. However, I don’t know of anyone who actually contributed during the conference and a lot of people also said that they might not be able to because of the different talks/ workshops going on simultaneously. However, most of them expressed concern about difficulty in starting to contribute as a newcomer and having this challenge helped us show the low barriers to entry to Fedora community. I am positive this helped them get a foot in the door to start contributing after the conference. The hack challenge also helped create a lot of buzz around Fedora.

The Fedora community meetup was also another event where we engaged with attendees and other community members. Justin talked about the project and how to get involved. We also had a small release party – and there was cake! Not just our FCAIC, Brian Exelbird but also delicious blue Fedora cake – It was so good, I still want some more 😦

We also managed to sneak in a few hours to work on diversity team tasks since all of us were together after so long. Hopefully, you will get to see some of our work during FLOCK soon. Till then, see our pagure repo or hang out in our IRC/Telegram channel or subscribe to our mailing list to know more about what we do and if you want to get involved. (Btw FLOCK registration is out!)

It wasn’t all just work. We also hung out together in the evenings – had icecream with Bex and got the cake badge instead :P, had awesome sea food in Tirana where we celebrated Justin’s birthday (more cake!) and went around lovely city of Tirana. I even managed to sneak in some shopping :)Albania reminded me so much of India – the culture, the weather, the traffic 😛 and I fell in love with the city. Hopefully, I will be able to come back soon.

 

 

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The May from my 23rd ride around our sun

This past month (of May) has been a whirlwind for me – I have been hopping continents a lot, meeting new people, having new experiences, exploring, learning, growing but mainly (re) evaluating what it means to be me.

I did check off quite a few items off my bucket list like

  • Doing a road trip in US (We didn’t get to go through a drive through – till next time IHOP!) and part of it while it was raining!
  • Have a lot of cakes – cake for breakfast, cake for when you are hungry, cake for getting high (on life, duh!), cakes I don’t like.
  • I went through an all American car wash
  • Had unworldly amounts of salt and sugar dumped into everything I had – it was either too sweet or too salty but completely normal if you are an American – and I survived.
  • Found my new drunk food for NYC – Pastrami and pickles from Katz Deli, it is!
  • Made someone break their <rule?>
  • Got a parking ticket in a zone where you could park (it’s NYC baby!)
  • Got pictures with fearless girl on Wall Street
  • Made punctual people late ( – I give up! -)
  • I was IN UNICEF!! Ahhh, UNICEF!! Ah, met people at UNICEF!!
  • experienced the New York subway (Chicago, I love you more!)
  • Talked with Mel, danced with Toshio and did I mention I was at UNICEF – talking to people at UNICEF – about UNICEF?
  • Saw an Amish family in person and no they didn’t ride a horse cart – also saw Niagra falls!
  • Went to Albania and Open Labs, had Raki and lazy breakfasts – loved it completely!
  • Made a shopping record – 1 skirt for 100 leks – less than a euro! It’s not even that cheap in India.
  • Fell sick – I have to fall sick atleast once on every trip

and added a few more stories to my ‘I-will-tell-this-at-parties’ list

  • I dropped my mobile phone in the toilet as soon as I landed in US! or if this were a party, I would say I did the ‘no phones for a week in a completely new land’ challenge and I came out exactly the same.
  • I got drunk on Coffee toffees (yes, it happened!)
  • Found the best possible comic store with every possible comic – and it didn’t have ‘Heart and Brain’ in stock – whatttt?!!
  • Felt the divide between NYC and NJ – I felt like a slave crossing over
  • Had COSTCO experience (COSTCO is for giants?) and then had Walmart experience (I want to buy everything!)
  • Went to supermarket  5 times in less than 48 hours
  • Was scared by a seagull at an american lake ( Americans are crazy with their dimensions – it’s definitely a sea and not a lake!)
  • Talked for 3 hours straight
  • Realized decause was going to be presenting at conference. I was finally going to meet him. Missed meeting decause him because he couldn’t attend. How does this happen to me – everytime?
  • Had donuts and beer – brewnuts!
  • Had a fear of dogs, Lived with 5  huge dogs out of which a few who constantly barked at me like I was a robber – and survived!
  • Then went on to live with 2 cats who didnt bark (or mew), had automated kitty food and`kitty litter and lived a more comfortable life than me (What have I come to – I am jealous of cats!)
  • Got back from US and on to flight to Albania within 2 days – and worked for those 2 days at Siemens – whaaat? How am I so productive?
  • Realized Albania is like India and traffic is crazier, had major missing home feelings
  • Had tzaziki lays, coconut cookies like home
  • Wore a winter coat in 30 degrees heat – and I felt cold!

and I still have the trip to Malta left!

How to Outreachy?

I was an Outreachy intern in the past and I know how nerve wracking the application process can be. Hence, I have decided to aggregate blog posts from past Outreachy interns describing do’s and dont’s as well as tips for application process.  These can be helpful if you are applying from Google Summer of Code too. Hope this helps!

Posts from past Outreachy interns with Fedora:

Alisha Aneja

Bhakti Bhikne

Suzanne Hillman

Some other interns : miguel

Posts from past Outreachy interns with other organizations:

Neha Jha, Wikimedia

Mansimar Kaur, Kinto

Bee, Mozilla

Zareen, Wikimedia

Anjana Vakil, Mozilla

Princi, Mozilla

More Outreachy related posts on Medium by past interns

View story at Medium.com

P.S. Some of these the things mentioned might have changed due to updates in rules and application process for the current Outreachy round. Even then, I think these should be useful.

Fedora Diversity FAD 2017

At Fedora, we are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the community. With this in mind, the Fedora Diversity Team together with the Diversity Advisor work on planning and implementation of diversity and inclusion(D&I) efforts such as the enforcement of the code of conduct, highlighting the diverse community in Fedora and offering workshops and fostering communication between Fedora sub-projects. I am lucky to have been a part of this team since some time now. Big thanks to Amita Sharma who invited me to join the Diversity team.

At FLOCK 2016, we had a Fedora Diversity Panel Discussion where we discussed key issues affecting Diversity and Inclusion in Fedora with the Fedora community and heard their concerns. Post FLOCK, we have been working on devising a strategy to address some of the critical issues related to D&I in Fedora. From Jan 27- 29, we conducted our first FAD (like an in-person work meet) in Brno, CZ where Fedora Diversity Team got together in-person to fast-track some of  the critical issues relevant to our goals. We also invited Fedora Community Action and Impact Co-ordinator, Brian Exelbird to join us  in this FAD.

You can take a look at the logic model detailing our goals for the FAD here.  While the agenda was a bit aggressive, having a detailed plan help us delegate our time effectively and look at critical issues.

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Fedora Community Survey

The FAD had a massive impact on the progress of the survey. We looked at past community surveys in open source communities, identified and selected questions we wanted to ask, designed the survey and identified the platforms, sketched a timeline for it’s implementation and future tasks.

The biggest decision we probably made was to move away from a survey faced towards just Diversity and Inclusion and focus it more towards Fedora community and it’s composition. Since such a thing has never been done before, we do not have much data about Fedora community and this survey holds the key to achieving that. This also made us move away from any implicit exclusion that might have resulted from our pre-conceived notions of diversity and inclusion.

I feel that Brian did a great job in summarizing the key questions we are looking to answer :

  • Are there pockets of people we can energize to help us further our progress on objectives and missions in ways we don’t realize?
  • How do we compare to other communities?
  • Are there changes we should consider to better serve our community, for example, providing information for localization efforts

Each question and it’s options were scrutinized intensively to assess which new information the question offered to answer and how relevant was it to our current goals, whether it’s language was positive and inclusive of our community and if the options offered were such that they would capture the maximum information possible. We also designed the options to ensure that we were not too penetrative while gathering information but at the same time the survey wouldn’t end up mostly blank. A ‘Prefer Not to Say’ option was hence included instead of making the question optional. Time is of utmost value and hence, we conducted a final voting to ensure that the survey length was ideal for participants. A final list of questions was drafted and is currently awaiting legal review before pushing to production.

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Fedora Appreciation Week

Contributors are extremely valuable to open source projects and we at Fedora want to thank the community and appreciate their hard work and valuable contributions without which we wouldn’t be here today. Along these lines, we decided to have a “Fedora Appreciation Week” – a week long celebration of our contributors and their value to the project. We had some great discussions around these and sketched out a rough plan about how it would be implemented using Fedora Badges, Thank You messages and revolving these around the core values of Fedora – Friends. Freedom. Features. First. Stay tuned for more information about this.

Joining Forces with other Open Source communities

Creating diverse and inclusive communities is not a one-man task. It requires the involvement of entire community. We however feel that it shouldn’t be limited to single communities either. Open Source Communities can learn from each other and build from their research so that resources are utilized to their full potential. Our team is currently researching into findings and strategies of other open source communities and if you know any such community which you want us to look into and learn from, don’t hesitate to talk to us via our mailing list diversity@lists.fedoraproject.org

Get involved with Fedora Diveristy

Are you interested in the work we do? Do you want to get involved with Fedora Diversity ? Do you have suggestions for Diversity team about our methods or things we should look into?  Do you want to know what Fedora Diversity Team is currently working on ?

Feel free to drop by our biweekly meetings on Freenode #fedora-meeting-1 on Wednesdays at 12:00 UTC.

Thanks

A huge thanks to Fedora Project Leader, Matthew Miller and Fedora Council for making this possible. To Marina Z. and Tatica for joining us remotely and providing their valuable inputs even though the timings were sometimes less than suitable. To Brain for keeping us on track, questioning and re-questioning every small and large decision. To Justin, for the awesome logic model without which gave us a sense of purpose and reminded us of our goals. To Amita, for all the pre-planning before FAD and post FAD – which was definitely a lot-  without you we wouldn’t have had a FAD. To Jona, for her inputs and learning on Albanian community and non-technical aspects of Fedora. To Rhea, for the awesome restaurant suggestions along with taking care of all logistics – without you we would have been dead or sick in Brno. To all of you, for making this FAD a huge success.

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[Outreachy] Why I took up a non-technical internship after getting Math and CS (STEM) degree

I have talked about Outreachy in the past  and how the Outreachy program is helping grow diversity in Open Source community. However, some people have been asking me why I opted for a non-technical internship even though I know programming and have studied Math and CS.  Isn’t this directly in opposition to the cause I am championing – bring more women into STEM and tech?

I don’t agree. At all. I have always been interested in understanding people. How they process information, make decisions, behave in a certain way, engage with others etc. My STEM degree hasn’t inhibited my primary interest in understanding humans – rather, it has helped me develop my rational thinking abilities and grow my passion towards it. Data Science has empowered me to try to find patterns in behavior and use them to not only learn and grow but help others. I feel that my internship at Mozilla is a natural follow up to my previous decisions in my quest to develop my understanding of people. Plus, how can I pass up an opportunity to bring more women and other minorities in tech ?!

At Mozilla, I haven’t given up my work related to data analytics. Instead, I am using data to derive insights into Diversity and Inclusion in Mozilla Community and drive strategic decision making. Having the satisfaction of working on something so impactful for the future generations is what drives me everyday and learning things ranging from succesful interviewing and communication to management – things I would not get the opportunity to learn in a technical role – are just a few of the additional perks along the way 🙂

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So what do I do all day then ?

Mozilla’s mission is to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. An Internet that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent [1].

At the heart of Mozilla is people — Mozilla is committed to a community that invites in and empowers people to participate fully, introduce new ideas and inspire others, regardless of background, family status, gender, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, native language, age, ability, race and ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, geographic location or any other dimension of diversity [2]. In lines with this, Mozilla is currently working towards creating a Diversity and Inclusion strategy for Participation.

Focus Groups and Interviewing for Mozilla

In the first phase, Mozilla is  asking Mozillians to self-nominate, or nominate others for a series of focus groups with D&I topics relevant to regional leadership, events, project design and participation in projects and beyond. These insights will generate initiatives and experiments that lead to a first version of the strategy. I have been working with Emma Irwin who has been leading this project on Participation side for Mozilla on understanding Focus Groups, their importance and how to conduct them. In short, surveys assume that people know how they feel. But sometimes they really don’t. Sometimes it takes listening to the opinions of others in a small and safe group setting before they form thoughts and opinions. Focus groups are well suited for those situations. You can read more about Focus Groups here.

We also had a mock Focus Group Sessions, reviewed the script for Focus Groups and learnt about the best practises for Interviewing. Apart from English, we are also trying to conduct Focus Groups in first language in some regions so that language doesn’t lead to exclusion. It is highly important for the interviewees/ focus group candidates to feel connected and comfortable with the interviewer and this has been my prime focus in my research and contributions related to Focus Groups till date. I am also working on conducting Focus Groups in/around India – especially, in person at Bangalore, if possible.

Research on succesful Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in India

At Mozilla D&I team, we are working towards building a library of curated best resources for Diversity and Inclusion from different parts of the world. To have a world wide impact related to Diversity and Inclusion, we need to understand the community’s cultural, historical, national and language contexts and tailor the initiative accordingly. We need to learn from programs beyond FOSS an Open Source and bring the learnings from those into FOSS constructs. India being such a vast and diverse country offers immense opportunity to learn from different programs and ongoing initiatives – to understand their succeses and failures. Currently, I have divided my research into two main focus areas :

  1. Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives started in India.
  2. Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives started outside India, adopted in Indian context.

Programs like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ by Government of India which encourages girl child education, Loreal India Young Women in Science program which offer scholarships for women pursuing STEM degrees are some of the programs which fall in the first category.

Other programs like Grace Hopper Conference India, Girls in Tech , Women Who Code and so on which are mainly programs started in the US and have succesful chapters or initiatives in India fall in the second category. I am also especially interested in understanding the huge success of Outreachy in India.

If you know of any other active/inactive tech/non-tech Diversity and Inclusion programs in India, do let me know and I would be happy to include them in my research. To know more about my findings, keep tuned – I plan to release a blog post every week.

I have also been working on Diversity and Inclusion oriented community metrics. However, I plan to write a more in-depth post on it and hence I have decided to cover this topic in my next post.

Till then, Sayonara !

Diversity in FOSS : Outreachy

 

tldr ; As a part of my work with Mozilla, I try to analyse different programs working towards diversity and inclusion in FOSS and their successes and failures. I wanted to collect some statistics for Outreachy and understand how it has helped increase the diversity in FOSS projects.

From Outreach Program for Women(OPW) to Outreachy..

Like the rest of the tech industry, the number of women participating in FOSS projects too is generally low. Outreach Program for Women were started to bridge this gap in FOSS projects and bring more women onboard. Women contact the FOSS organizations in the program they want to work with and write up a project proposal for the summer. If accepted, they are mentored by organization members over the duration of the program on their project.

The GNOME Foundation first started the internships program with one round in 2006, and then resumed the effort in 2010 with rounds organized twice a year and is currently in it’s thirteenth round. For the May 2015 round, the program was renamed to Outreachy with the goal of expanding to engage people from various underrepresented groups and was moved to Software Freedom Conservancy as its organizational home. In the December 2015 round, the program opened to people of color from groups underrepresented in technology in the United States, in addition to being open to women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people internationally.

How Outreachy has helped women

By having a program targeted specifically towards women, the Outreachy organizers have found that they reached talented and passionate participants, who were uncertain about how to start otherwise.

According to the organizers, the program is a welcoming link that will connect you with people working on individual projects in various FOSS organizations and guide you through your first contribution.

Personally, I couldn’t agree more with these two points. Outreachy has surely helped reduce the apprehension women face while first contributing to a FOSS project and feel more included. Additionally, I also feel that the program provides you with a nurturing community and network which remains with you beyond the program.

Impact of Outreachy in numbers and graphs

I wanted to collect some statistics for Outreachy and how it has helped increase the diversity in FOSS projects.

Till now, there have been 13 rounds of Outreachy (including Outreach Program for Women) and 368 women have taken part in the program and worked with FOSS organizations.

To understand the growth of the program and its impact in introducing women to FOSS projects, I created a graph showing the number of organizations participating in each round and number of selected participants.

outreachy_stats

Some numbers for Outreachy Round 13..

45 participants were selected to work on 41 different projects offered by 14 different organizations in this round like Linux Kernel, Fedora, Mozilla, OpenStack, Wikimedia, Zulip etc.

The following map shows the distribution of Outreachy participants in Round 13 according to their location.

mapsdataexport-2017-01-091

India topped the list with 16 women being selected in the program(40% of total selections) and North America followed behind with 9. I was particularly astonished to see Brazil being 4th in the list with 3 participants ! The selected participants truly form a diverse community with participants from all parts of the globe like Australia, Africa(Cameroon), Russia and even smaller countries like Albania and Philippines. Together there were 9 selections from European continent !

Here is a table showing the number of selected participants with their country :

1 INDIA 16
2 NORTH AMERICA 9
3 CANADA 4
4 BRAZIL 3
5 GERMANY 2
6 CAMEROON 1
7 POLAND 1
8 CHINA 1
9 SRI LANKA 1
10 PHILLIPINES 1
11 TURKEY 1
12 UK 1
13 FINLAND 1
14 RUSSIA 1
15 AUSTRALIA 1
16 ALBANIA 1
17 ROMANIA 1
18 SPAIN 1

 

Diversity in projects

From what I could understand, projects were mainly offered in these four categories : software development, research, UI – UX/ design, documentation and data analytics. UI – UX and data analytics projects involved some coding but didn’t seem to be completely development based and hence I have mentioned them separately.

Development 32
UI – UX 5
Research 4
Documentation 2
Data Analytics 2

 

Does this diversity extend to mentors and program co-ordinators ?

Two-thirds of the program co-ordinators (12 out of 18) from each organization were women. Overall, 12 mentors for different projects were women. Just to note, while the numbers are same – while there are some intersections, not all women mentors are co-ordinators and vica versa 🙂

Conclusion

In a short span of six years, the program has been successful increased the participation of women in FOSS projects and I feel has played a major role in not just working towards bridging the gender gap in FOSS community.

 

 

Outreachy – FOSS beyond coding !

I have been selected for Outreachy Round Dec-March 2017 and will be working with Mozilla on a Diversity and Inclusion related project. The project consists of identifying and documenting examples of successful inclusive teams and communities within Mozilla and learn from them. I had never contributed to Mozilla before but have been a Firefox user since I can remember and this project is a wonderful opportunity to not only to contribute to a FOSS project I love but also to a cause I deeply care about – of improving diversity and inclusion in FOSS communities. I also hope to apply my learnings from the project to other FOSS communities and groups I am involved with.

You don’t need to know coding to contribute to Open Source !

I would also like to repeat again here – that not you do not need to know code to contribute to FOSS projects. There are many non-technical tasks like Translation, Writing, Marketing, Outreach, Design, Diversity and Community Operations in FOSS projects which thrive on support of volunteers. Also, you can contribute to FOSS according to your free time and gain a lot of knowledge and valuable experience while doing it.

You can also contribute to FOSS through programs like Outreachy .

Outreachy (formerly known as Outreachy Program for Women) connects and helps people from underrepresented groups (women, trans male, minority groups in U.S. like Hispanic etc) with equal opportunities to participate and get involved in various free and open source software projects. It’s organized by GNOME and many Open Source Projects offer three month internships(technical and non-technical) through Outreachy twice a year.

If interested, you can also look into other similar programs like Mozilla Winter of Security, Google Summer of Code , Tor summer of privacy , Rails Summer of Code . Tapasweni Pathak, a former GSoC-er, has compiled a list of these programs here.

Different ways to screw up Outreachy and/or GSoC applications..

I have wondered countless number of times since the past two years* about the moment when I see my name on the Outreachy selected participants page. I might have also given a thought or two (more like two hundred, if you want me to be honest) about writing this post. Would I start the post describing the happiness I felt when I saw my name on the Outreachy selections page?  Would I act all cool instead and say I casually checked the results and was surprised to find my name?  Would I give advice to other newcomers to the program ? Now, when the moment is finally here – I have decided to be completely honest !

*For those who don’t know, this was my fourth time applying for Outreachy/GSoC. I have screwed up my selections in GSoC and Outreachy in all possible ways like being accepted by the organization and being deemed ineligible for Outreachy due to my course commitments and  being accepted by the organization and being deemed ineligible for GSoC due to not uploading my student ID. During the time I had forgot to upload my student ID, I had completed the application and had stared at it for one whole hour to find any faults with it – I didnt want any fiascos to happen again. The portal showed application complete and yet, I somehow missed the box on left side asking to upload my student ID. In retrospective, it was all for good but at that time – it hurt the most. I cried the whole night and wasted the whole day even though I had finals on the day after. (More info on how to not screw up in GSoC/Outreachy in another post coming soon..)

Selecting a project to work on for Outreachy

Needless to say, I was very anxious about the Outreachy results this time. I was counting the days one week before the results and by the time just one day was left, I was a nervous wreck. I had narrowed down a few projects for Outreachy – on diversity and inclusion project and another one on data science by Mozilla and a few UI – UX projects (I have always been interested in UI/UX) by other orgs. I ended up only applying to Mozilla. While I am still interested in contributing to UI/UX, I didn’t know much about it – or even HTML/CSS – when I started working on the patches and being involved with a full-time internship left me with little time to learn. I also fell sick during the Outreachy application period and it prompted my decision to concentrate and apply to only one or two projects which I would really really want to work on over the internship. The ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ project with Mozilla was my first choice given various factors like the large number of things to be learnt during the project, non-technical project (my life has been full of code contributions and I wanted to explore..), my growing interest in making FOSS communities more diverse and inclusive, opportunity to apply my learnings in Fedora community post the internship, awesome team, being a part of Mozilla community and the fact that I had worked on most of my initial contribution before falling sick.

My initial contribution for Outreachy for Mozilla’s Diversity and Inclusion related project

The main project involved research, surveys and talking to volunteers in different Mozilla communities to know more about diversity and inclusion related activities.As a result, I decided to conduct a short diversity and inclusion related survey as my initial contribution. You can find the work sample with my learnings from the survey here.

When you are not selected.. but then you are..

I had been glued to the screen refreshing the results since one hour before the results. When  the results were announced, my name wasn’t in the list of selected participants. I was very sad but decided not to cry even though I couldn’t figure out where I went wrong during my application. I was eligible, had done the initial contribution to my best and even interacted with the mentor regularly. I began second guessing my abilities. I didnt have the guts to tell my boyfriend that I hadn’t been selected . He had been through my side during the past three application fiascos for GSoC and Outreachy. When he called to know about the results, I said I had been selected (I know I have a cruel sense of humor, but I didnt want any sympathy again! ). However seeing his happiness and excitement, I couldn’t keep up the pretense any longer so I broke down. He was so sure that I would be selected this time that he checked and rechecked the results page multiple times and it was looking like I would have to end up consoling him 😛 However, sometime during that, the page was updated to announce a final list of participants and lo and behold, I had been selected ! I was finally going to be a Mozillian working on diversity and inclusion ! Yaay..

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Other Outreachy Interns in this round

46 awesome women will be doing their internships with 14 different FOSS organizations as a part of Outreachy ! I am looking forward to getting to know them more and also their projects. You can check out their blogs about their work here. I am especially excited to know more about Zareen Farooqui and her Outreachy project with Wikimedia involving user-oriented data analytics (cause it’s community-oriented analytics, duh!) and Suzzane Hillman and her work with UX of Fedora Hubs (Fedora Hubs is a project I have seen grow since I first joined Fedora more than a year ago and I am really interested in learning how UX makes it better.)

My first week of Outreachy

Since I will be wrapping up my internship in Berlin till Dec 23, Outreachy organizers have kindly agreed to help postpone my evaluations by three weeks so that I can give my best to both the projects. During the first week, the mentors are way on a Mozilla all-hands onsite week but I will be getting familiar with the tools and resources neccesary, setting up my Mozilla account and getting to know more about Mozilla, it’s mission and the community. I will also be finalizing the kinks of the project I will be working on and I can’t wait to get started with my Outreachy internship soon 🙂