How I got a paid Outreachy internship working with Mozilla

Hello World! This is a space for all my experiences and tinkering as an Outreachy intern for Mozilla, in the Round 17.

If you’re interested, read on.

What is Outreachy?

Outreachy is a 3-month long internship program led by the Software Freedom Conservancy, and sponsored by a variety of tech companies like Mozilla, Redhat, and Google. The aim of Outreachy is to make the tech industry more inclusive. This is part of what got me most excited about the program! The projects associated with Outreachy internships are broadly-ranging.

I was selected as an Outreachy intern for Mozilla on November 16, 2018. Yes, that was every bit exhilarating.

*does a little dance*

I will be interning in December 2018 —March, 2018. The project I will be working on, is SUMO— a way to incentivise fixes in open source software development. More, about my project:

SUMO is a global gathering of many enthusiastic and dedicated people whose passion is to help all users of Mozilla’s software and products. SUMO operates on the same principle that Mozilla does: a core of staff coordinating the operations and an army of contributors powering them.

How did I get to know about the Outreachy Program?
I got to know about the Outreachy Program in last year from a talk in meetup of ILUGD- Linux Community of India.I had this urge to just DO something with all the free time I had during the week. So I reached out to this guy from Delhi, on Facebook, who’s now a very dear friend to me. From him, I learned about Outreachy and when the applications opened for Winter 2018, he urged me to apply for it and so I did.

What did I find most challenging about the application process?
The applications for the Outreachy Program expect aspiring interns to make a small contribution to a relevant FOSS project as an eligibility criteria. So halfway through October, few days before the application deadline, I anxiously set out to fix my first bug on KitSune. When I look back at it, I think that the most challenging part of my application process was that I had to pick an organization and a project to work on. I was inexperienced and didn’t know what to pick. In the end, I chose the project that I later got to work on as a part of my internship, simply because that was the only project with a description I understood and I felt I could do it.

What did I do during the application process?
I emailed my mentor Rachel, got myself assigned to a very simple bug and sent in a quick patch. From then on, I kept in touch with my mentor on email and discussed more about the project. I feel like my goal at that point was to do more than just the bare minimum of submitting a single patch to become eligible. At some point in October, I remember thinking to myself that, even if I don’t get accepted in the end, all the effort I was putting into learning to contribute to Firefox was going to be worth it. I clearly knew that I was going to continue to contribute code to Firefox for a long time no matter the outcome.

What was it like to get accepted?
When I think back to that day, I remember how important it was to me that I get accepted as an Outreachy Intern. I had been sitting on the bed idly for 2 hours waiting and refreshing the outreachy website contniously. When I finally got to know that I was accepted. Honestly, I was just relieved and happy.

I’m super excited about Outreachy.

All in all, I’m super excited to be working with Mozilla on the SUMO project.

I love the project, for this very reason –  it needs an intense involvement, and a fresh, wider perspective. I am still new to open source and the application process was a different experience.

In the end, a big shout out to Outreachy organizers Sage Sharp, Marina, Elizabeth Noonan at Mozilla and everyone who supports Outreachy helping newbies to learn and excel in open source. Lastly, a big big thanks to my friend to motivating me to apply and work hard. This wouldn’t be possible without his support.

It would be totally unjust if I don’t mention the support and motivation given by my mentor Rachel McGuigan. I feel blessed to have supportive mentors. Thanks a bunch for being so kind and helpful.

If you’re thinking of applying for the next round of Outreachy but don’t feel confident enough or have doubts about navigating the application process, feel free to drop me a line. I’d love to chat with you. 🙂

My code is @navgurukul-shivani18 and I tweet @shiwani269. Contact me if you need help.



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