Why I applied to Outreachy’s Open Source Program

I recently got accepted as an Outreachy Intern for Mozilla’s cohort this year!

Over the course of this post, I will speak on how I found out about this opportunity, what motivated me to apply, how I chose the project that I applied for, and share some final thoughts of my experience so far and hopefully encourage others to apply for the next cohort!

How did I find out about the Outreachy Open Sourced Internship?

Funny enough, I was first introduced to Outreachy a few years ago from a blog post similar to the one I am writing now :). The post highlighted that intern’s journey into programming and how they found confidence within their skills through contributing to open source. When I came across the story it reminded me of myself in so many ways. Throughout my programming journey, open sourced tools and technology have always had a huge impact on how I developed software and shaped my learning, and I have always wanted to give back to that community. Unfortunately, I also struggled with my own confidence in my skills and never felt like I could give back. I spoke with a close friend of mine and mentioned how Outreachy was helping individuals like myself get into open source, and he encouraged me to apply. After reading that post, learning more about Outreachy, and speaking with my close friends about the program, I decided to take the leap. Coincidently the contribution period for outreachy also started around the time of Hacktoberfest, a global event encouraging individuals to participate in opensource contributions through out the month of october. Earlier this year I made a pact with myself to ensure that I would contribute to a big open source project, and hacktoberfest felt like the perfect time to do so. Which leads me to my next point:

How did I pick the project that I applied for?

During the Outreachy program’s contribution period, you are given a list of projects to potentially work on. The Mozilla Fenix Android application is one that I use daily, and have been thinking about contributing to for quite some time. The community around it is healthy, thriving, and the maintainers are helpful and compassionate. Imagine my surprise when I found out the project was a part of the outreachy project list to work on! For the duration of the contribution period, I primarily helped flesh out some of the UI tests of the application. Although I was unfamiliar with a lot of tools that I worked with, I was lucky enough to have some great mentors to help guide me whenever I ran into issues.

What am I doing now?

More of the same! Adding some more robust tests as I become familiar with the project, and while it may not be in scope of this internship, I hope to contribute to a feature request in the near future.

I have learned so much in my time here, and I am excited for what the future holds! I have some fantastic mentors, and everyone at Mozilla has been a pleasure to work with, and there is so much more to accomplish!

If you are thinking of applying to Outreachy in the future rounds and would like to talk, feel free to reach out to me! I was in your position not that long ago, and would love to help answer any questions, pr just talk about my experience in general to help you go forward with your application :).

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and I hope to see you again!

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