I had my eye on the Outreachy program for a while, but it always seemed a little intimidating – I’d never taken part in any open source initiatives and had no idea where to begin, so I did what any mature adult would: I kept lurking on their Twitter account and postponing my attempts for no good reason 😛 Just kidding, kinda.
But then I met a senior developer who became my mentor (aside from very dear friend – hiiii Ana Rute! ) and during one of our talks about growth she mentioned being an Outreachy alumni. She gave me a better understanding of the program, talked about how she learned a lot and considered this period a game-changer in her career. I was inspired and figured it was time to set my fears aside and give it my best shot.
Where to start? Well, there are a lot of important resources on the official website, and I would also recommend following their account on Twitter – lots of cool articles and posts are shared over there. But in short, here’s what I think is so brilliant about this program: the application process is already a chance to give the dynamics a “test-run”, see how you enjoy working on the projects, and interacting with the mentors. And yes, the application process is a lot of work, but regardless of the results, you already have a huge gain in terms of learning, engaging with others and meeting new people. Win-win all the way.
My idea when picking a project was to look for a balance between things I enjoy doing and things that sounded challenging. At first I wanted to contribute to two different projects from different companies, but soon enough I knew working with Creative Commons and helping them improve their platform toolkit was the project I *really* wanted to join. I sent my final application with zero expectations – honestly, I thought this was just a really fun first attempt – so I couldn’t be happier about having this opportunity. I’m very excited to be a part of this project and begin my journey as an Outreachy intern. My first week is already super busy – but I’ll share more about that soon enough 😉