Before we dive into the article, a little about me – I am working in OpenStack on The Functional Testing Development for the Keystone Client Library, under the mentorship of Mr. Samuel de Medeiros Queiroz as an Outreachy May-Aug 2016 intern.

What is an Outreachy Internship?

Outreachy helps women (cis and trans), trans men, and gender-queer people (basically people of under-represented backgrounds) get involved in free and open source software by working remotely. Additionally, it is open to residents and nationals of the United States of any gender who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.

Outreachy internships were inspired in many ways by Google Summer of Code and by how few women applied for it in the past.But, unlike Google Summer of Code, Outreachy is open to non-students and non-coders including user experience design, graphic design, documentation, web development, marketing, translation and other types of tasks needed to sustain a FOSS project.

The main partners of Outreachy are GNOME Foundation, Red Hat and Software Freedom Conservancy and is promoted by Google, Intel, hp, Samsung, Twitter and many more.

Why do an Outreachy Internship?

This program has been a welcoming link that connects talented and passionate newcomers with people working in FOSS and guides them through their first contribution. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is software that gives the user the freedom to use, copy, study, change, and improve it. It ensures user freedom, benefits society, creates a fun collaborative community around a project, and allows anyone to make innovative changes that reach many people. Many people work on FOSS as a hobby in their spare time and some are employed by companies and non-profit organizations, including ones that are sponsoring this program!

It provides a supportive community for beginning to contribute any time throughout the year and offers focused internship opportunities twice a year with a number of free software organizations. Interns are given a payment of $5,500 (USD) and in addition, $500 (USD) as travel allowance.

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How to get in?

1. Make sure you meet the eligibilty criteria.

2. Start early, have faith in yourself and be sincere in your efforts. Even if you don’t have experience in the field, you can still apply and get selected. Just be honest in your experience and time commitments from the beginning.

3. Get familiar with IRC and Mailing lists

4. Choose an organisation of your interest and see if the community suits you.

5. Communicate Well – Learn to ask without hesitation

6. It is immensely important that you find a suitable project and a mentor who can guide you.

7. Make your first contribution by finding an easy bugs (low-hanging fruit) and fixing it.

8. Before asking for help, try to solve the issue yourself first,. Though don’t spend more than half hour at a single place when stuck. You can always ask for help from the core contributors.

9. Work on your application proposal, get it reviewed.

10. If you still have some time left, you can consider applying for some other project in the same or other organisation as well.

11. Consider the luck factor while waiting for the results and continue contributing.

In case of any query, feel free to reach out to me by commenting below.

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