Outreachy - Introduce Yourself

07 Dec 2020

Who am I?

Hello! My name is Ida Delphine, but my friends call me Idadel. I’m currently a 20-year-old open source enthusiast based in Bamenda, Cameroon.

Ida's pic

I fell in love with coding about a year ago after writing my first Python program. Back then, I was in a medical school doing pharmacy technology. After my first coding experience, I didn’t even think twice about dropping out of med school. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I must say, completely changing my career path to technology has been my best decision so far.

Yocto's pic

It’s been a year since I transitioned to tech, and my greatest achievement has been getting the Outreachy Internship. My Outreachy internship project is to Enhance the Yocto Project’s license tracing. I’m proud to have Paul Eggleton and Tim Orling as my mentors.

What do I love?

Three words: Python and chocolate.

What are my core values?

I value a lot of things. If I were to pick my top three core values, they will be competency, honesty, and respect. Here’s why:

  1. Competency: I like doing things efficiently. I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist, but I always try to do every task to the best of my ability. I don’t think I would have gotten the Outreachy internship without competency.

  2. Honesty: When working/interacting with honest people, there’s some sense of trust around us which makes the environment more comfortable and encouraging to work in. Also, there are a whole lot of problems in life that can’t be solved without honesty. I believe in the saying: “The truth will set you free”

  3. Respect: I can’t work or be in a setting where I am not respected. I believe people should show regard for the feelings, ideas, and rights of others. Nobody deserves to be disrespected or to feel disrespected for no good reason.

My Application Motivation and Journey!

Outreachy's pic

I knew about Outreachy about a year ago but I always thought that I am not good enough for this amazing opportunity because I transitioned to tech just a year ago. With time I learned about open source development and it was then I knew I was born for this. I wouldn’t know up to half the stuff I know about tech if not for some amazing open source contributors and enthusiasts.

Besides, I was a preacher of actively practicing open source development but I wasn’t consistent and neither was I taking it very seriously. Again, I felt like I wasn’t good enough or maybe I was just lazy. When the initial applications of Outreachy were open I got the information through their tweet. I’ve always wanted to go in for Google Summer of Code but with the competition involved, I never tried(not cool of me). So learning Outreachy favors girls in tech and no past GSoC interns were allowed was some great motivation. This was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. At least I thought it wasn’t going to be competitive(it was competitive, lol).

The main motivation that led me to apply for Outreachy was the experience I’ll get and how it’s going to help boost my CV. I couldn’t proudly brag of any notable open source project I’ve contributed to but just before I could submit my final application a made a few contributions I am proud of. Also, this was an opportunity for me to network and connect with other experienced developers, learn a lot about open-source best practices, work with an expert mentor, and a lot more. Oh, and not forgetting 6000 dollar stipend that will go a long way to support me especially as the pandemic has slowed things down for my family. All these gave me that push to submit my initial application.

After I submitted my initial application, I immediately went through the projects page to start getting familiar with projects I will love to work on. Then I stumbled upon the Yocto Project(YP for short). Unlike Apache, Wikimedia, Mozilla, this was my first time hearing about the Yocto Project which made it catch my attention. I started reading about it and I found it cool though I didn’t understand much about it. I thought about giving up on it and maybe going to another organization but I chose to challenge myself with this one. I seriously needed the help of someone familiar with the project so that I will be able to understand the basics before the contribution period. For that reason, I went on Twitter and followed the YP. I went through their tweets and I noticed the YP retweeted a lot of tweets from TheYoctoJester. It was then I followed him and politely sent him a DM introducing myself and how I needed help understanding the YP. He was so kind and explained it more to me and then everything just made sense. After that, he hooked me up with some of the members of the YP community and this just made things a lot easier for me. I remain grateful for his kind gesture.

I realized how amazing and welcoming the community was and with how far I already went, I just had to finish what I already started. Though I didn’t know the details of my project since it wasn’t the contribution period yet, I started doing a little research just so that when the contribution period begins I won’t have to stress much. The contribution period began on October 7th and by October 8th I already started making contributions. I made up to 3 contributions and made sure I was in touch with my mentors even after submitting my final application.

Good for me all my hard work paid off. On November 23rd I received an email about being accepted for the internship. It was almost like a dream. If you’re reading this post and you feel like you’re not good enough to make open source contributions or you’re not good enough for anything in general, cancel that mentality. You have to start somewhere. Even if you apply and don’t get the internship, try again next time. Bear in mind the most difficult part is the contribution period where you have to be chosen among other aspiring interns. Give it your all, make a bunch of quality contributions, and have the community spirit.

Outreachy accptance email pic

In general, I’m enjoying my Outreachy experience and I particularly encourage people who think they’re beginners or not good enough to apply. You’ll learn a lot trust me :)