Science and technology

My journey to turning into an open supply mentor

I used to be simply 16 once I made my first significant open supply contribution. It was the primary code contribution I ever made, and I discovered lots from it. I am 20 now, and I have been strongly hooked up to free and open supply software program (FOSS) ever since. I attempt to be a pal to my neighborhood colleagues and to assist others proceed rising, studying, and succeeding.

Early days

I first heard about FOSS by way of the Google Code-In contest. I used to be 16, however I used to be already studying laptop science fundamentals, the C++ programming language, and the rest about computer systems I may get my palms on. I used to be very excited in regards to the contest—not simply due to the free Google swag, however as a result of it gave me the chance to work straight on codebases getting used all all over the world. I jumped into the competition feet-first and began making an attempt to unravel as many open supply software program duties as I may within the code, design, documentation, and analysis.

It wasn’t straightforward. I did not know the FOSS neighborhood tradition, nor a lot in regards to the software program improvement methodologies they used, nor even the best way to search assist or work together with others. So, relatively than specializing in duties, I began by specializing in understanding these fundamentals.

In a manner, I spent a lot of my time in the course of the contest studying extra about how open supply improvement works as an alternative of closing duties. But I wasn’t unhappy about my failure to contribute code in the course of the contest and as an alternative centered on my success in getting acquainted with free software program and open supply tradition.


I did not cease my journey there. As a newbie, I discovered:

  1. Git
  2. GitHub
  3. Using the terminal
  4. Writing significant commit messages
  5. How to speak with colleagues and partake in venture discussions
  6. A brand new manner of taking a look at codebases and venture anatomy
  7. Basic fundamentals of laptop science
  8. Important elements of the technical stack and programming languages

The following yr, I participated once more within the Google Code-In contest to implement what I might discovered and attempt to make higher bonds with my new FOSS mates. This time, I used to be capable of full a very good variety of duties and make some useful contributions that have been pushed into manufacturing. As a end result, I used to be chosen as one of many 50 grand prize winners out of all of the members from everywhere in the world. Being a child, this gave me the motivation to make FOSS one in every of my finest mates.

Programs that received me nearer to FOSS

From my begin, I at all times appreciated being a part of FOSS, and the journey has been wonderful and addictive. I needed to be taught extra, and I believed taking part in FOSS initiatives and applications would assist this occur. Hacktoberfest is one such initiative the place I used to be capable of contribute to Microsoft open supply software program and varied different tasks in 2018 and 2019. All the teachings I discovered in Google Code-In have been strengthened and strengthened. 

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) was one other vital, participating, and difficult expertise for me. I grew to become a part of the GSoC 2019 and 2020 applications as a scholar with the Sustainable Computing Research Lab. These have been two fast-paced and thrilling summers spent searching down bugs, writing new options, and documenting the work.

In 2019, Red Hat’s Open Source Contest was one other great alternative to work on open supply engineering issues. Red Hat is one in every of my dream corporations—it offers open supply software program merchandise (significantly fascinating to me are container applied sciences and orchestration instruments), so I am fortunate to have been a part of the competition. The better part was that I used to be paired with a Red Hat engineer to mentor me all through the course of the competition. I contributed to the ansible-bender venture, and the journey completely stepped up my expertise to the subsequent stage. 

I additionally made useful contributions to the SPDX on-line instruments for his or her deployment infrastructure. While I used to be studying about blockchain know-how, I contributed to Hyperledger Fabric’s Python SDK.

Spreading FOSS tradition

I additionally served as a Google Code-In mentor in 2018 and 2019 and mentored many younger aspirants making their very first useful FOSS contributions. I used to be capable of evaluation round 400+ duties and had the privilege of serving to tons of of scholars.

Through my time as an open supply benefactor, I’ve discovered that the open supply mannequin is one of the best ways to host a venture. It avails you of many advantages, starting from acquiring contributions from everywhere in the world to getting venture funding. Through my time as a contributor to open supply applications, I’ve discovered the worth of working to inculcate FOSS tradition in our establishments and college students.

I strongly consider in FOSS, and I like to recommend being a part of this tradition. Maybe you may discover it tough to begin, however if you happen to search the recommendation of pleasant members on-line or in a sponsored program, you may absolutely get assist. The most vital a part of the journey is the primary few steps; when you get previous that, you may quickly really feel accountable and pleased with every contribution you make—code or in any other case—understanding it helps your mates all over the world.

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