I am Anukriti hailing from New Delhi, India currently pursuing my Bachelors degree in Information Technology from Delhi Technological University (Formerly Delhi College of Engineering), Delhi.
This is my first ever Blog! I am elated to share that I am going to spend this summer as an outreachy intern 2020 with the OCaml community and hence, I am penning this blog to describe my journey so far and the entire selection process. I hope the future Outreachy aspirants would be benefitted by knowing about Outreachy and its rich culture.
On the very first day of induction in University, a counselling session was organized by our seniors and we were given insights about life in an engineering college and various prestigious programs that engineering students dream to pursue, especially those from the field of Computers Sciences and Information Technology. This was the day when I got to know all about open source contributions for the very first time and it led to a very positive impact in my life.
Outreachy is one such platform where you get an opportunity to contribute to open source software remotely through a 3 month long paid internship to hone your capabilities and explore your potential. This program is offered twice a year and the best part is that you need not have to be a student to apply for it. Here, the interns get to learn from some of the most skilled and talented mentors and are paid a decent stipend of $5,500 with a $500 travel grant to attend any national or international event or seminar related to their project subject to the approval of their mentors.
It’s the very first step in the application process! In the month of February, I filled my initial application which asked for my mandatory personal information, time commitments and also a few essay answers each asking for the importance and urge of getting selected as an intern. After filling it, it was a month long wait after which one fine day, I finally received a mail regarding the acceptance of my initial application and then I was all set for my next steps. So, keep reading to get more insights!
Now came the most challenging yet interesting part of the selection process which was definitely the most important as well in which I had to pick some organisations and projects which were more inclined to my interests and with whom I could start off my open source journey.
Being an inquisitive person by nature, I always wanted to explore something different and hence, chose OCaml Organisation as I wanted to learn a new skill and put my knowledge related to Compilers in some practical use. I was intrigued by OCaml being a functional programming language and the way it can help solve problems much more effectively and in a simpler way. The first thing that I did after this decision was to quickly review some basics of Git that was all I required to get started.
I started contributing in the month of April which for me, was definitely an opportunity to explore my potential to code, to interact with people from across the globe, to be a part of a community that is working day and night to contribute to welfare of the human race through technology. I really worked very hard to be part and parcel of this amazing community and learnt some amazing stuff on my way.
Initially, I did face some hurdles and thought that it was not my cup of tea. I was not able to work out where to begin from. But, still I did not lose hope and kept contributing with the guidance of my seniors and mentors. As the days passed by, I felt myself improving in contributing to the assigned tasks and started gaining confidence that I could do that.
It was D-day and I was filled with mixed emotions. It was 4th May and at around 9.30pm IST, I was expecting my results. I was continuously gazing at my laptop screen with a lot of excitement coupled with nervousness. I was trying to login but the website unfortunately crashed and finally, at around 10pm, a mail popped up on my screen “Congratulations on being accepted as an Outreachy intern”. I was elated with joy and it was like a dream come true moment as I was one of the 55 interns that got selected across the globe for this prestigious opportunity.
A big thanks to almighty, to my family and friends, without whose moral support, this wouldn’t be possible. And, my final thanks to my mentors Vincent Laviron and Guillaume Bury for their continuous support and motivation. Needless to say, their unconditional and selfless support was always there in the moments of distress and failures to sort out the bugs and issues faced during the process.
Stay connected for more such blogs in future!
For more information, regarding the selection process refer to Outreachy page.