The end of the beginning :)

23rd September, this day marked the end of my internship with GNOME. It is difficult for me to believe that it is over already! It feels like yesterday that I was writing the first blog post and was a little anxious about how this journey would turn out. But it has been amazing, and trust me, the word doesn’t express all the feelings that I have about the whole experience. Let me walk you through it, and let you get the feel of how awesome it’s been :)

So, my project was to develop an Conference management system for GNOME. It is supposed to make the like of conference organizers easy.  The system intends to make the process of managing a conference easy by having an easy to use system of managing tasks, paper submission, schedule and also putting this all together in a custom theme. Initially we (me and my mentors) had decided to use wordpress CMS for both the frontend and backend, but eventually we decided to use OSEM(Opensuse event management system) for the backend and stuck to wordpress for the frontend. As of now, I have done my work on developing the theme and integrating the frontend with OSEM. Working on this project helped me learn a lot about WordPress and how easy it can make you life :D . There is like just one function for everything and VOILA ^_^ , and the documentation wordpress provides, its codex, is one of the best documentations I have ever come across. It made working with wordpress very easy for a newbie like me. During the project I not only got to learn about wordpress but also about how to work my way around git as it is an important element in the world of Open Source.

Apart from the project, I got to learn about a lot of new things which other people were working on. I got to meet amazing people, who made me get more in love with open source :) .  Getting to know new people not only helps learning new stuff, but also improves one’s confidence!

The internship gave me an insight about how big organisations like GNOME work and how things are handled a little professionally. The internship have me my first experience of having to report to someone about all the work I had done till date! Although my mentors were really cool and didn’t ever pressurize me, but the weekly meetings did get me doing some work ;) . When I was new to the program, I thought it will only be throughout the internship that I’ll work with GNOME, but once I started working, I knew I was going to continue working for the wonderful community of Open source even after this internship :) . The program has been a wonderful experience through and through and is definitely a great initiative towards getting women involved into open source!

Hope the program continues to do what it aims to do. I am obviously going to remain associated with it, hope my journey got you a little interested in this and I got GNOME it’s another fan ( If you were not already :P ) ! :D

Till next post

Adios amigos :)

Back home :)

So, after spending a week with an awesome set of people and at an awesome place, I came back to the regular mundane college life back here in India. But I just can’t keep myself away from thinking about the time I had in GUADEC.

This was my first GUADEC, and people say it keeps getting better every year, I don’t know how it can be any better than this! I had one of the best times of my life, met awesome people, got to learn a lot. All the talks plus getting to know the first hand experience of all the amazing designers, coders, developers who all also turned out to be great friends! It was great!

Apart from the talks, how can I forget to mention all the fun parties we had :D and the dance (and the search for vegetarian food :P ) .

And lastly, the tour of Brno, the history of the place coming from such an amazing guide was mesmerizing :) .

There were few people with whom I did get to spend a little more time than the others and got to know them better. I would like to mention them here :) :

Fabiana and Andreas : You guys are just so awesome! You are everything one wants as a mentor :) Hope to learn a lot from both of you.

Andrea : You are such a life saver! It was great meeting you in person after bugging you so much online! Hope you plan your visit to India soon :)

Tiffany : You were a great roomie! And thanks for having me in that video of yours :)

Magdalen: You are such an awesome person! So energetic and full of enthusiasm. It’s always great talking to you! :)

Aruna, Sindhu : It was great meeting you guys, hope to see you sometime in India soon!

Mattias : It was great talking to you. Hope to see you next year too!

Giovanni: Thanks a lot for all the time you helped us and yeah, Virgin Mojito is not that bad afterall :P

Bogdan : It was great meeting you. PS: Don’t freak out next time you have meal with an Indian, we are used to eating a little more spice and salt than usual :P

Sri: Thanks for taking us to the great restaurant :) . It was great talking to you and to know that we share the taste of old Hindi songs !

To all the people I forgot to mention here and to all the people I couldn’t get a chance to know, I am really really eager to see everyone next year again and thanks for such an awesome experience!

And at last, thanks to GNOME for giving me this opportunity to attend GUADEC and have a really great time. Thanks for sponsoring me to come to attend the event :)

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GUADEC it is!!

Heya!

So after the 11 hours journey that it was, from India to Brno, my excitement was reaching a whole new level! We landed at Vienna and then took a bus from there to Brno and I must say, this is such a beautiful place! And yeah it is my first trip to Europe, so everything here just adds on to my excitement :D .

The conference started on 1st August, it is supposed to be from 1st to 8th of August. The day before that was mostly about meeting the people we had only contacted over IRC and knew them by their nicks on the channels. It was such a great experience! I must tell you, if you think, by any chance, that the open source work or community sound a little boring, you are wrong! The community is fun, and the people are even more awesome here at GNOME! The welcome party was a hit :) Everyone got to meet everyone (almost :P , some people had late flights so they couldn’t attend it) and we had free drinks :D (see, I did tell you, the open source community always has its own share of fun ;) ) .

The first day of the conference saw people coming in since the morning. The keynote on the first day was by Ethan Lee and was supposed to be followed by talks. We had some really good talks on the first day. Actually, there were so many good talks, and some had their timings clashing, so the attendees had to make a tough choice between the talks. There was a talk about GNOME’s OSTree project by Colin Walters. It was a great one. The OSTree is not a commercial product yet, but it has great utility. It basically simplifies your task to keep updating your packages separately. The gnome-ostree build system watches for commits to many git repositories builds them, integrates them into a complete file system tree that can be downloaded using the  tool. Its of great use to designers. It was originally created to make the life of designers at Gnome easier.

Then throughout the day there were  interesting talks by many people. The talk by Fabiana Simoes about how should one not report the UX bugs was great and other talks too were awesome. I just told you, it was actually difficult for the attendees to choose between the talks :)

So, I shall keep you updated on all the GUADEC stuff, actually I can’t keep myself from doing it anyways, because there is always so much to write and so much to tell about it! 

Cya :)

Saumya

Time to start working :D

With all the excitement of the new work, came close the date when we were supposed to start working! My project is to build an events’ site manager for GNOME. I know the idea  I was in constant touch with my mentors Andreas Nilsson and Fabiana Simoes, they are really really great people :D ! So, I was told to start with talking to people and collecting the requirements. My mentors, who have probably seen many newbies like me, sensed easily that this was something I wasn’t very eager to do, but nonetheless, they explained to me how important it was, and yes, after I finished with it, I did realize how many aspects and requirements of the project I had been missing!

Now, since I had the basic requirements, I was supposed to start working on the system. I was also in touch with other people from the organisation who had managed it in the previous years. I must mention here, all the  people here at GNOME are so helpful! They guided me through all the requirements and gave suggestions about improving. They suggested we could use some systems  which already existed and build upon them the system we needed. We started looking out for some open source systems we could use that could satisfy our requirements and shortlisted some. We have still not been able to finalise upon them but that should be done soon I guess :) .

Meanwhile,  I also started working on the theme development part and got introduced to bootstrap! And I must tell you, it’s such an awesome thing! It just makes your work so much easier! I’ll write about it in the next post though since this one is coming out after a long time and to fill all the stuff in this would me it a really long post :) So, yeah…so far its been an awesome experience and hope it continues to be!

And another thing I forgot to write about! I am going to attend GUADEC! That is so much awesome! I am really excited! Will keep you posted about it :)

Saumya

The beginning :)

It was 27th of May 2013, 12:30 in the night (In India. So ok that’s technically 28th May), unlike all the other days, my parents were awake this late in the night. Me? it’s actually a normal thing for me to be awake that late, but today was special for me too! Why? That’s because the results for GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women were to be declared then. This was something I had been preparing for since some time, and at the last minutes, long lost anxiety of the school days, of the usual result days, came back!

Some background:

GNOME’s Outreach Program for Women is a brilliant initiative to promote women’s participation in open source development. It is quite similar to GSoC(Google Summer of Code) in many ways, but as the name says, it is only for women. There are number of prestigious open source organisations (like GNOME, Mozilla and many more) participating in the program who hire interns through this program and sponsor them. I came to know of it through an E-mail that was floated on my university’s mailing list. The day I came to know of it, I thought “Why not give it a shot?!”. I had also been trying to start working on open source development since a long time, so I thought this could be a great start! And then I started looking around and finally decided I could contribute to the web-development team of GNOME. I must mention here, had it not been for the greatly helpful mentors, Andreas Nilsson and Fabiana Simoes, I would not have made it through even fixing a small bug. So, I worked, fixed some bugs and did some other stuff, submitted my proposal on the due date and waited for the results.

Back!:

And then there it was! There it was! My name! My name was there in the list of the selected interns for the present round! I screamed in joy as my parents came rushing to see what happened to their lazy sleepy daughter. It was such a great moment :). Then began the series of mails, with all the instructions about what to do and what not to do. One of the TO-DOs was to write a weekly blog about the internship, for which I am late (yeah as usual), but yeah, better late than never :D

Will keep you updated about the internship as it goes :) Just hope the laziness doesn’t keep me away from doing it ;)

Saumya Pathak