Wrap-up: Summary of my journey to being an outreachy intern at Element

Hello 👋,

I'm back with another blog post, since I was in procrastination mode and not a fan of writing🤪.

I can't believe I'm writing my Outreachy wrap-up post. It moved quite quickly! I can still clearly recall the day I first learned about Outreachy. After learning what it is, I felt rather overwhelmed and thought, "Ah, can i get this?"

As I'm writing this blog, I can't help but go back to when I initially started. I'll write that now and introduce some of the folks that supported me along the route.

So, here’s the summary of my journey to being an Outreachy intern.

I first knew about Outreachy from one of its beneficiary's post on linkedin last year but I had other things keeping me busy at that time so didn’t pay that much attention to it nor read about it well. After a while earlier this year i came across a post again about outreachy (it's like God is telling me i should apply🤭).

I decided to check it out again and saw how eye catchy the benefits are, one of it being the stipend which is $7000😁(I was like wait a minute, i need to get into this program🤣) though i had a doubt whether i can get into the program because it is quite competitive and the acceptance rate is quite low like out of thousands of application only about 60 persons on average get into the program. Mind you unlike some cases i have seen regarding applicants saying they were new to open source when they applied, in my case i already have quite an experience contributing to open source software and i am already comfortable with contributing to open source and already in love with it but it never crossed my mind i can earn money from it, i was just doing it because it looks good on resume and to improve my skills, so outreachy is a great program to get paid for what you already love like in my case.

Moving on, I nearly missed it because I submitted my initial application like two days before the deadline. I might be late with things sometimes but i surely get things done.😎

After that, my initial application was shortlisted, and "The Contribution Period," the actual struggle, began. Numerous things occurred, but I was aware of the need for my best effort, i put in my best in anything i am really passionate about or interested in. I was initially confused(one of the struggle) as to which project i should go with because there were an handful of projects with varying tech stack from reputable organizations/companies and the likes. So I went with three projects initially since the tech stack really aligns with my interest because i am a javascript/typescript person and I didn't want to divide my attention and time among so many. After some time, I made the decision to narrow my attention to only one which happened to be Matrix and it ended up being the right choice, i am so glad i made the right decision.

The contribution period itself was another learning phase for me. The community was extremely helpful and quite quick to respond to any problems anyone might face while contributing, I managed to get 8 PRs merged (you can check all my contributions here).

When I received an acceptance email from Outreachy, it was like a dream come true. Yep, I was quite restless that day.

So, I was in. After that, my project tasks looked a bit intimidating to me at first, but when I started working and took one step at a time, I was able to tackle all of them one by one. And I didn’t even notice when I reached the last task . Here is a link to the tasks. I manage to complete my main task, Here is a demo video you can check out, at it's current state it's now useful to users but there is still some hope of improvements in it and extra feature we didn't think of. I will sure continue contributing to it in my spare time, you can drop your inputs or what you think on the issue on github.

One fear that I always had was “Will I be able to make it to the end? and I am glad that fear does not turn out to be true.

But all this won’t be possible without my mentor Andy Balaam and the whole amazing community

I really appreciate the support and time that he gave me in spite of his busy schedule and the way he organized everything so that it would be easier for me to get guidance in his absence too. He scheduled meetings and office hours with other team members and they were just one message away.

I also get to expand my network during the internship and get to know many people. I don’t know what the future holds but I know this internship indeed has added some value to my professional life.

And finally, again I would like to thank Andy Balaam(my mentor), Simon Brandner, Olivier Reivilibre, Shay, Michael Telatynski and others i couldn't mention for guiding me throughout the internship. The last three months were the most amazing moment of my life. I got to learn many new things from them.

I will continue contributing to Matrix/Element, i am part of the fam now😊.

Thank you for reading, Shalom!