The Open Source Travelogue
However weird may it sound, but I know this journey is not going to be any less than a travelogue. And the first destination has already found its place on it — Outreachy Round 15.
Yes, I did it and that too in the first try! Literally a proud moment :)
My open source journey hasn’t been long, I started back in July after completing my 6 months internship at Amazon. Two major things that drove me towards open source were -
1. Love for quality code (As a proof: I’m an indentation freak!)
2. Desire to contribute back to the society
Thankfully, I had ample time to try a few different things in my 4th and final year of college. I explored Zulip and Mozilla’s projects and first little bugs. But I knew bugs can’t keep me interested for long.
After multiple rounds of exploration, I ended up contributing to Sublime and Atom. I used to do competitive programming on platforms like Codechef, Codeforces, Hackerrank etc. Since the competitions had time constraints, I really wished editors had this feature that just like by typing “for” one gets the template for entire “for loop”, similarly, just by typing “binarySearch” one should get template for Binary Search. Hence, I developed a library of commonly used algorithms and techniques which were helpful in solving problems during competitions. Because now I was well familiar with the motto of Open Source that “if you’re looking for it, maybe someone else is also looking for it”, I published CPP Competitive Programming Snippets package for both and Atom which currently have 200+ installs collectively.
Sublime Package : CPP Competitive Programming Snippets
Atom Package: CPP Competitive Programming Snippets
The appraisal, that I got after my first open source contribution, increased my confidence to explore more and aim big.
At the same time I came across Outreachy which is an initiative of the Software Freedom Conservancy open to participation for women, transgenders and other underrepresented communities. I came to know that Outreachy provides a medium to free and open source organizations to select interns to work remotely for 3 months on a project under the guidance of a mentor.
Somehow intent and time fell in place and Outreachy became my next target. I explored various projects of different organizations. One project that instantly caught my attention was to develop a tool for displaying user contribution summary for Wikipedia . The reason it caught my interest was- one, it matched my skill set, and secondly, this project was going to give me an opportunity to contribute to an highly impactful chapter — Wikipedia. I decided to give it everything.
There were 3 micro tasks which were specified on the tool’s phabricator page. I completed all these micro tasks ensuring quality in UI and Code. As compared to others, I was a bit late in submitting tasks and proposals, so the quality of my code and work was my only hope!
Since Outreachy was the only thing on my mind for the past one month, I could not resist myself from contributing even after the deadline. I discussed an additional micro task with my mentor and worked on that!
9th November had come. The results were supposed to be declared by 9:30pm IST. I had put in all my heart into this, so I really wanted to get selected. But the wait didn’t seem to end. Finally, 9:40pm it was, I received a notification of the results on my phone.
The results page had my name on it! Yay!
An interesting start to an interesting diary, right?
Stay tuned for more chapters! :)