The Google Code-In Diary.

My experience on the Google Code-In 2016 Trip.

The Google Code-In trip finally came! About six months ago the Google Code-In 2016 grand prize winners where announced, and I was amongst the winners.

As a reward, we got to visit the Google’s office in San Francisco. This post covers all the cool and fun (and “shady”) stuff that happened during the entire trip. The “shady” I refer to above, is not quite the shady you might know, but you’ll find out as we go on.

My trip began on the 25th of June. I got up early that Sunday morning and prepped myself for a long six hours flight from Douala to Paris (Paris was the transit point). I was very anxious about the flight, because it was the very first time I was getting on a plane! (Not kidding).

My flight was a good one and we arrived Paris early Monday morning. My uncle and I had to check-in on our flight to San Francisco. But the sad thing is, our flight got delayed for three hours. Beforehand, one other grand prize winner from Romania, Alexandru Bratosin was transiting in Paris as well and we were on the same plane! Alas we did not have close seats, but we still found ways to keep each other company on our 11 hours flight from Paris to San Francisco.

San Francisco is awesome! It was my first time there (it is my first time in the USA). Alex and I arrived about one hour late at the Welcome Event in Google’s San Francisco office, but we were received very nicely by the GCI team (Stephanie, Mary, Cat, Joshua, Helen & others), the other grand prize winners that were already present and the organisation mentors (oh and parents too). There were a lot of goodies and food on the very first day. One thing I can’t forget about the whole trip is the food! After having dinner, we headed back to our hotel rooms for a good night rest (20 hours without any sleep. I was pretty exhausted)

One thing I can’t forget about the whole trip, is the food.

Day two of the trip was trophy awarding day! After a short speech by Chris DiBona (Director of Open Source at Google), he called our names one after the other and handed us trophies. This was followed by talks and presentations (by googlers) about some of Google’s open source projects. The presentations by the googlers were very interesting and inspiring because it gave me more insights on how open source is really changing the world and how I could be part of this change. After all the presentations we had dinner then went back to the hotel. At night, we (Me, Alex, Shriank, Vanisha & others) decided to explore the bay area a little. We had a lot of fun walking along the Pacific coast line. We visited AT&T Park :D. Also, we took a lot of (not) shady pictures. ‘Shady pictures’ is an invention by Alex and Shriank. They originally called it ‘the shady pose’.

That’s a shady picture! Everyone made a shady pose

The third day in San Fransisco was the fun day (according to the schedule), but we were already having a lot of fun. We had two activities to do: a Segway tour or a visit to the Exploratorium. I went with the Segway tour. Our tour guide (Katie) showed us around the bay area. I saw a lot of new stuff and learned a little bit more about the history of San Francisco. After the Segway tour, we visited the Golden Gate Bridge. This is one of the places I was hoping we visited through out the trip! We had a small tour; guided by Stephanie. The best part, we saw whales! I saw a whale for the very first time! It was amazing. After a short walk on the bridge, we had a cruise tour around Alcatraz island. Then, MORE food (I think I gained a few pounds lol).

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Our last day in San Fransisco started with more interesting presentations from googlers. Also, some students and mentors gave presentations about their organisations and open source development. I was one of the students who gave a presentation about my journey as an open source developer and my involvement in the OpenMRS community. There were a lot of pictures during this day. The last day was a little bit sad, but surprisingly, I don’t recall anyone crying!

Google Code-In mentors and students

In general, it was a really fun and exciting trip. I’m so glad I was a part of it. The trip has given me a totally new experience in life and it has opened my mind to a whole new world of possibilities!