Before getting the Outreachy internship, I always knew in the future I will love to become a very skilled software engineer and with Python being my first and favorite programming language, I regularly create time to write some Python code. The thing is I wasn’t very sure about what kind of software engineer I wanted to be. I was still very confused and started looking into data science which I found interesting how much information one can get by just simply manipulating data. By the way, I still love data science and it is so much fun visualizing data. To me, that’s the best part of it.
So how has the Outreachy internship influenced my career goals? Well, it has influenced it a whole lot. I mean, I’m a Yocto Project intern. It’s completely centered around embedded Linux. I always had a little idea about embedded systems but never really gave thought to it being a possible career option or path. Honestly, it’s still a mystery how I picked the Yocto Project even though there were several other communities with projects that required my Python skills. I think I saw a few data science projects but somehow I managed to go for the Yocto Project. Now I don’t think I chose the Yocto Project; the Yocto Project rather chose me! Lol.
In an earlier blog post, I stated what sparked my interest in the Yocto Project was the fact I did not know about it and that made me extremely curious. I had to look up its website and almost everything I read didn’t make sense at first. I tried reading the software overview and the more I read it the more confused I got. I was moving from one confusing term to another and there was just a lot of Linux involved in the whole thing of which I was a Linux user for just about 2 months. All my life Windows was my go-to OS until a friend convinced me to switch to Ubuntu. Did I mention the YP and the terminal are like best buddies? Almost everything about working with the Yocto Project is on the terminal. Since I was still a Linux newbie I had to start working on that area as well. Anyways I was very determined and resilient. I felt like I needed to learn something new and step out of my comfort zone. So reached out to community members and just by how welcoming they were motivated me more. I watched YouTube videos about embedded systems, the YP and read a lot of its documentation. Anyone who saw me during that period will think I was about writing an exam or something. Later on, all the hard work and determination paid off. In no time I started running my builds as well as understanding parts of the documentation which made me proud.
This whole internship experience has made me explore another career path and I will love to work with embedded systems in the future. I already started reading books and can’t wait to finish my internship project to effectively master C/C++. I talked about it with one of my mentors and he confirmed C/C++ together with Python is a strong combination. Also, I do not know if this is a valid career path but I think I want to contribute to open source for as long as I can. One thing Outreachy taught me is how beneficial contributing to open source can be and being an Outreachy intern has changed a lot about me. Believe it or not, this internship has changed my life and the way I view things. I’ve got to learn how to submit patches via a mailing list (before I knew the only way I could submit a contribution was via GitHub), learned more about opensource/opensource best practices, improved my coding, connected with awesome community members as well as other Outreachy interns, found an interesting career path and so many other stuff.
In summary, I want to get into the embedded systems space thanks to Outreachy and the Yocto Project. It’s not easy but I believe I’ll get there with the same hard work and resilience that pushed me to know the Yocto Project. I also plan on sticking around for a while with the Yocto Project finding bugs using their Bugzilla issue tracker and trying to fix any within my capacity. That’s a cool way for me to learn more about the YP while improving my skills. Plus I just love the community. I’m also hoping one day I’ll be able to help any newbie in the community the same way they helped me. It must not even be the YP community. It could be any other community.
Well, that’s it! Maybe my career goals will change but for now, this is what I have in mind. In case you have any suggestions or advice regarding my career feel free to comment on this post on Twitter or DM me. Thanks for reading :)