Melaku Alehegn, an Outreachy intern, shares what it was like applying for the program and what he learned.


OpenInfra’s collaboration with Outreachy offers a compelling opportunity for students to engage with open-source projects and enhance their practical skills while being guided by experienced industry experts.

How likely are you to recommend someone to contribute to our projects through Outreachy? 

My experience with Outreachy was positive, and I found the mentorship and project structure helpful for contributing to open source. I believe it’s a great program for those interested in getting involved in open-source.

How likely are you to recommend someone participate in Outreachy as an intern?

Outreachy provides a structured environment for learning and contributing to open-source projects. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in gaining valuable experience with the help of amazing mentors.

Did you get to contribute during your mentorship cycle?

Yes, I was able to make a contribution in projects such as Manila, Manila-UI and Python-manilaclient projects. I have improved a share-network creation workflow in Manila-UI, improved user-messages while share-schedulers are not ready in Manila and I was able to improve developer tools in both Python-manilaclient and Manila.

Did you finish the project that you were assigned?

As I have confirmed from my mentor, the project scope was a bit ambitious at the start and I wasn’t able to finish all the project requirements. But I was able to finish a significant part of it and I have revived a feature that wasn’t getting attention for a long time in OpenStack and that was a good accomplishment. 

Did you complete additional tasks?

Yes, in addition to my project, I was able to pick issues and fix them, add developers guide, tooling and documentation fixes.

Do you feel comfortable with the intern selection process? If not, why?

Yes, I found the selection process to be fair and transparent. 

Do you feel comfortable with the tools and processes to participate? If not, why?

Yes I feel very comfortable using tools that I used during my internship.

What was the biggest challenge during the internship?

One of the biggest challenges of the internship was understanding the complex code in OpenStack’s different projects. However, with the help of my mentor, Goutham Pacha Ravi, research and experiments, I was able to understand the code.

Another challenge I faced was unreliable internet bandwidth during my weekly mentor meetings, which typically occur at night in my time zone. To address this, I explored different internet plans and adjusted meeting times to find a period with better bandwidth. This sometimes meant staying up until midnight.

How likely are you to continue contributing to the project after Outreachy? If you’re not likely, why not?

I’m very likely to continue to contribute to OpenStack projects after Outreachy.  I found the projects I worked on very interesting and valuable and my schedule allows for some continued participation.

How likely will you be to contribute to any other open-source projects after Outreachy? If not likely, why not

The experience with Outreachy has increased my interest in open source and equipped me with skills to contribute effectively. I’m actively seeking new ways to get involved. Whether it’s diving deeper into Python/Django projects, exploring other open-source communities, or even mentoring future Outreachy interns, I’m eager to keep contributing my skills and learning from others.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone contemplating applying?

My advice would be to carefully research the projects and choose one aligned with your interests, start exploring open source contributions beforehand, actively participate during the application process, and keep helping others.

Melaku Alehegn
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