Desire Barine, an Outreachy intern, shares what it was like applying for the program and what they learned.


I am Desire, a budding software engineer and recent graduate of the ALX-Holberton Software Engineering Program. I am a full-stack software engineer but my strengths lie in backend development. I am very interested in working on projects that solve real-world problems. I’m very curious, by nature and I love finding out how things work under the hood. Honesty and humility are also key values I appreciate and try to follow.

I have always been interested in working on open source projects as these projects are aimed at solving real-world issues. Outreachy provided me with an opportunity to do that. I found out about Outreachy from my peers at the Women’s Techsters Fellowship. At that time the November cohort was running. I signed up for their mailing list to get notified when the next round started.

For the application process, I read over the guides given by Outreachy on writing an application. These guides helped me structure my application to suit what was required. The contribution phase was significantly hard for me. This was my first time contributing to open source projects and fortunately, the open-source communities were very welcoming and friendly. Choosing a project was hard, as there is quite a lot to choose from. I ended up choosing the OpenStack-Cinder project because it aligned well with my skills and interests and it also had a vibrant and helpful community. I reached out to the project mentor and made my first contribution mid-way through the contribution period. Subsequently, I worked on two other issues till the contribution phase ended.

Here are some key things I learned:

– Do not be scared to approach big tasks. Contributing to OpenStack was quite scary at first, due to the numerous things required to set up. Focusing on a task at a time helped me reduce stress and work faster.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is no award for remaining stuck on a task for days. Ask for help and move on to the next. The community is there to help you.
– Rest is important. Things become clearer when you’re well-rested and not frustrated.

Overall, I enjoyed the process of getting an Outreachy internship, and the community has been helpful and welcoming. I will be working with my mentors to extend the automated validation of Cinders API versions.

I will be writing more about my journey and the technical skills I am building, as well as insider guides weekly. Stay tuned!

Check out Desire Barine’s blog!