The beginning of my Outreachy experience


What is Outreachy?

Outreachy is a community that encourages people from underrepresented groups to work remotely with the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) communities, by offering three-month paid internships and their full support in this process.

What motivated me to apply to the Outreachy December 2018 to March 2019 round

I first heard about Outreachy two years ago in my last year of university from a colleague that got accepted. I remember how I checked their website afterwards and felt really inspired of the Outreachy mission. I even encouraged my sister to apply who, even though doesn’t have a technical background, was very eager to learn.

I’ve always wanted but never had the chance to get involved with the opensource community before and this seemed like a great opportunity and the perfect place to start. So here I was, after two years,  finding the courage to apply, so I filled-in the initial application and waited.

My experience during the application phase

After I found out that my initial application was accepted (yay ❤ ), I had to choose a project and start contributing to it. The list of projects was looong and each and every one of them seemed interesting and challenging, so picking one wasn’t an easy task.

I started by checking out each project description and requirements (there is a system each project listing follows in which they evaluate on a scale from 1 to 5 the experience an applicant has to have with a specific technology).

I then chose the projects I thought they suited me best and checked out their repositories and public communication channels.

When I got to the project A highly Available Proxy for JupyterHub of the JupyterHub community I just felt it’s the right project for me. I loved how the project and the contribution process were very well described, so much that when I first checked their issue tracker I immediately chose one and started working on it. The project mentors were really helpful and encouraging and there wasn’t any moment I felt I was asking the wrong questions. Although the project is all about Python and  I consider myself to be a C++ developer, I can’t wait to challenge myself and discover Python’s real power in a complex project.

Outreachy encourages applicants to apply to one, maximum two projects but I got so hooked into JupyterHub’s project that I just couldn’t find the time to look into another one. There were a lot of strong applicants and I’m very lucky, happy and proud I was accepted. I am really excited working full-time on this project.

You can be an Outreachy intern too!

To everyone that still don’t know whether to apply or not for an Outreachy internship:

  • Don’t be afraid! You’re not too young or too old or too inexperienced to apply. The Outreachy community will help and guide you through the process of becoming a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community member.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get accepted, you can always try again in the next roud! I mentioned at the beggining of my post that my sister also applied this round. Although she didn’t get accepted, she gained a lot of experience through the contributions she made and will definitely try again in the next round. I am very proud of her.