Outreachy reports · Jul 31, 2022 · 4 minute read

Outreachy report #34: July 2022

🏆 First-time achievements

We hosted our first Twitter space! Last week’s theme was life before, during and after Outreachy – a chat with alums and current interns about the ways their internship experience changed their lives. Omotola invited me to join as one of the the alums and I had a fantastic experience! Here are some of the things I’ve shared:

On what I’ve learned during my internship

My biggest lesson was to manage expectations. I was so afraid of failing… I didn’t know what it meant to succeed as an Outreachy intern. They taught me to work and think as a team. They taught me shared responsibility, in success and failure. They taught me that it’s better to be proactive, to make a choice and change your mind later than to be pushed to a choice you didn’t even make. Even better, they taught me there’s value in “failure”. It tells you what doesn’t work, and it gives you clues about what may work.

On how Outreachy changed my life

It showed me I was capable of doing things I’d never thought I was capable. It kickstarted my transition into tech. I kept working in free software projects after the internship, and a year later, I joined the Outreachy team! The people I got to know, the opportunities I had… They show me all you need is someone who believes in you. Just one! When they open doors for you, you go so far. It’s incredible. I’m grateful for Shristi, Wikimedia coordinator, Johan and Benoît, my mentors, Marina, Karen and Sage. I went from someone who didn’t know what to expect from the future to someone that looks forward to what the future will bring me.

This Twitter space was recorded (and all future Twitter spaces will be too). Here’a a link to the recording!

💪🏻 Getting better at it!

During Sage’s week off, I realized we hadn’t sent our automated emails for Week 7—which includes prompting mentors and interns to join that week’s intern chat. Sage was waiting on me to change the prompt to something that would accommodate both people who took longer or less time to figure out a project goal, but I wasn’t able to deliver that in time.

We had to send it ourselves. When reading the template email on our dashboard, I noticed it lacked a link to the Zulip chat topic. I put two and two together and realized that’s a parameter under Round page. Once I created the topic on Zulip, I was ready to send emails to mentors and interns! 🎉

🔮 Improvements for the future

📑 Process improvements

My final project in Requirements Engineering is a study of our sponsorship and invoicing processing. I did a requirements interview session with Sage and Omotola to ask them about the history and their perceptions of this process. While I did add my own perspective as an Outreachy organizer, my role in this meeting was of an analyst trying to understand clients struggles, wants and needs.

This project will generate a detailed report on this process (plus improvement suggestions), including diagrams representing the use cases and classes involved (which will help my Databases I project even more representative of real life).

🌐 Website improvements

My ongoing project for my Databases I class is a study of our website’s architecture. It started with an analysis of our entities, their attributes and relationships. We interrupted our usual inverted class schedule for two weeks due to mid-terms, but this week we’ll deepen our studies in relational algebra.

I’ll create a copy of the Outreachy database to start exploring some of the questions Omotola asked me this month, such as “What projects (and from what mentoring organizations) people from African countries applied to in the May 2022 cohort? What skills those projects required?”

As for Human-Computer Interaction, my final project is to propose a redesign of a system following human-computer interaction principles and guidelines. Revamping our whole website seemed too big of a scope for a month and a half of work, so I asked Sage what would be their suggestions for a reduced scope. We decided it was better to focus on our homepage and the way key information is displayed.

The idea behind this project is to submit a mockup ready for implementation in September.