February 7:Sharing experience as an OPW intern at Mozilla Quality Assurance

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February 7 ,2015 has been a really special day in event life.I had shared my experience as an OPW intern at Mozilla Web Maker Party organised at Rajagiry School of Engineering and Technology,Kochi. Thank you Rebecca Billings for connecting me with the mozilla reps in my region and thanking Vigneshwar Dhinakaran  who trusted me to take the session.

It was my first ever conference in which I handled a session, and it was next to awesome.The maker party gave me an opportunity to network with other mozilla people at my region. Further in this post I shall my experience of the event.

I reached the venue at 9.00 a.m.and met Vigneshar Dhinakaran.Vigneshwar is the Mozilla rep and main organiser of the event.He proved to be friendly host and smart organizer. RSETians where waiting with enthusiasm to for the event.A few hours later I met another team of Mozilla reps who co-organised with Vigneshawar including Nidhya,Praveen,Abid.Praveen was GSOC intern in one of the previous round. Praveen blog is quite informative. Click here to read his blog

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The session started with transforming ideas into prototype,followed by an introduction to web technologies and mozilla web maker,after that Praveen and myself shared our experience as an intern at Mozilla and SMC(Swantantra Malayalam Computing).We spoke about opportunities like Google Summer Code OPW and Rails Girls  summer code.

We both explained our respective projects Oneanddone. It was interesting to know about his project  developing and adding support for Indic language layouts for Firefox OS.

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I spoke about the upcoming opw round, and gave some tips to get started.We  talked about  irc,encouraged them to subscribe to mailing list,use irc and learn github. We were able to help them in finding  resources for learning like openhatch,trygit etc.

We found that students really doesn’t get  a chance to contribute in open source projects. There is a popular misconception that open source projects has place only for highly skilled developers.We presented open source as a platform for developing skills.I gave  a brief description about how they can be a part of documentation,quality and testing etc.

To conclude open source is an important part of technical education.But students are not aware of  how they can contribute in open source. Providing them proper mentorship could help them bringing to forefront. Opportunities like OPW and GSOC could be a good dive into open source.To achieve this the mozilla reps has decided to organise a boot camp in the upcoming week.Stay tuned

My first dive into opensource

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Its official.I  am glad that i am an   OPW  intern.This means ill be working with mozilla for three months (Dec9th-March 12). As a part of the internship  i will be filling this little space of mine with my  internship experience. Stay tuned! :). So let me begin by telling a few  words about myself and how i started with open source.

I am Tessy, from India a recent computer science graduate.I have been working in startup for about six months .I love attending online courses,learning new stuffs.Python is my favorite programming languages. I have always been curious about software development.During my free time i love reading traveling,being around with people.

I have not contributed to open source projects before and I admired the people who have. It sounded very cool.So when i first heard about opw an year ago i knew i was in.Since I was familiar with python,i choose Fedoras infrastructure upstream,porting to python 3.It was tough for a novice but worth trying.Finally i managed to submit a small patch .It was quite simple removing 5 lines of code:).I was rejected .Participation and rejection are a part of game.I was not selected for round 8.

Though i was rejected twice,I was not ready to give up.I started browsing various organization and choose mozilla.I started involving with the documentation team by joining the joining the Army of Awsome  and answering questions in support forum.Programming was my area of interest.but i learned it is not a good idea to jump directly into code.Testing is a field which is good to begin with.So during my free time i spend volunteering mozillas automated testing efforts.I started subscribing to the mailing list and during my free time i hanged around the irc channel.Picking up community tagged issues including  writing readme,cleaning up the repository removing unused codes, and getting recognized with badges was motivating.So by the time when round 9 was announced ,it was easier to tackle the issues

Finally round 9 was announced,Since i was already familiar with mozilla’s quality assurance I choose one and done project.Its a mozilla qa teams new tool where new contributes can pick task,complete them helping the qa community and feel rewarded with badges.Its written in django and playdoh.

For those who are looking forwards to contribute to open source, don’t hesitate Select a community project you find interesting,If you are beginner make sure  the community is  friendly to beginners. Start by subscribing to mailing list,hang  around in ircs.Send  a mail explaining your area of interest,level of expertise.They will get back to you.I would encourage all those who are qualify the criteria of opw to apply for the next round.Working with smarter people is the best way to grow.

Its been a week since the internship started and I learned a lot.The journey so far has been quite exciting,Thanks to my mentors Rebecca Billings and Bob Silverberg.I hope it will be the same in future also.