Learning never ends

Thu 04 April 2013

The Outreach Program for Women internship ended on April 02, 2013 and here's how it all came to fall into placeā€¦

A little background about me: I was previously working at Ministry of Home Affairs, India. A government job in India is respected and rather difficult to get one and where I come from, my folks were only very happy I landed at it but egged me on to complete a master's degree I left halfway. Due to unavoidable circumstances at that job, I had to quit and was heart broken that I had to now start over from scratch.

My enthusiasm for FLOSS had taken a back seat due to the job and just when I had joined college I was looking at a future that seemed so bleak and out of nowhere my friend told me "Look, there's an opportunity you might want to give a shot". I was very apprehensive of it at first because I was completely aware of the jostle in programmes like GSOC and how competitive it is amidst people who are so proficient in coding and have many real life coding experiences before they post applications in the programme. When I found out that it was only for women who were freshers, I felt hope, figured what's to lose? I had to learn only 3 new things (getting source code, editing a file - a help page, making a patch) before I saw my first patch up on bugzilla. All these years of being acquainted with bug trackers, forums, gnu/linux and the community in general finally magically fell into place and wow! I had stepped in :D It felt awesome!

From then on, there's been no stopping me. I picked up Mallard in one evening and had already had sufficient knowledge of Git so it was a quick and easy transition into contributing to GNOME Docs. Despite suffering a setback when my visa was rejected, I was able to participate in the Docs Sprint remotely (Thanks, David King!) and also write Visa Help.

If anything only the time I have to allot to attending classes and living are in my way for fully hacking away at the docs, though I think I can manage fine :)

The big part of the internship was not my work, really. It was how my mentor showed tremendous patience during these formative months when I succeeded, when I faltered and hand holding me (over irc ;)) through every step of the way. There's so much I have learnt from her and will forever be thankful for the way she polished my skills in a way that had me coming back for more! Especially so, in the final moments of rebasing and merging to master; I really started to cry (in pain really!) when I couldn't make sense of what's going on in a git rebase but then the patience and explanation she gave me, I let sit and simmer for a day in my head and suddenly all the knowledge just fit like a jigsaw puzzle and in a few hours span we were done with the rebasing and pushed to master!! :D

It hasn't been all work with my mentor and me; she and I bonded over many personal interests :) And I can't wait to meet her at GUADEC this year if all goes well! :) Thank you, Kat!

Thank you Marina!! and the entire OPW team, you have not only rekindled my passion for FLOSS but also changed the way I think about job, work and career. There's only one way to go from here, Up.

Thank you Florian Nadge and Radina Matic for all the arrangements you helped made for me for the Docs Sprint, I hope to see you soon!

Thank you Jim Campbell and Michael Hill for the reviews you did for me :) and Jim, thank you for the opportunity to work on Rhythmbox.

Thank you, Andre Klapper for just generally being awesome :D

Thank you, Shaun McCance for Mallard! I hope to stick around and contibute with it and to it ;)

and here's a shoutout to the Docs team: QUACK!!!

Category: Internship