I recently got selected as an Outreachy Intern for Linux Kernel. And yes! it is the new beginning. For the next few months, I will be working on dri-devel aka Linux Kernel GPU Subsystem project where I will be working on VKMS (Virtual Kernel Mode Setting) driver under the guidance of my mentors Manasi Navare and Harry Wentland.
Here let me sail you through my journey from being an applicant to getting selected as an intern –
Outreachy Internship Program: What it is?
Outreachy is a program for folks from underrepresented groups. It aims to get them more involved with open source through remote internships. It is a three-month internship programme. It was started because of very low participation of women (less than 8%) in Google Summer of Code (GSoC). It’s completely remote and interns are paid $5,500 on completion of the project with an additional $500 stipend for attending conferences related to their project. Know more here.
How did I start?
I was introduced to Linux during one of my academic courses on Embedded Systems and RTOS. During my coursework, I was immensely affected by the use case of Linux -running on Desktop Computers to tiny embedded boards such as Freescale mini2440 and Raspberry Pi3. I decided to dive deeper to know about Linux. Later during a conversation with Open Source Contributors at my university, got to know about Outreachy. Further exploring that Linux Kernel as a part of Outreachy program leveled up my excitement.
I started contributing in Linux Kernel during the application phase. I submitted few patches in Greg K.H’s Staging Tree. These patches included clean up and minor changes using tools -checkpatch and Coccinelle. Further, I decided to work under dri-devel aka Linux GPU Subsystem Project. Guessing why I chose this project? Cutting it short, I previously had an encounter with Computer Graphics and Audio and Video Engineering. Discussion with mentors, reading about DRM Subsystem and the relevance of my previous graphics experience, helped me to propose a good application and timeline for the project.
Thus, the journey during the application phase has been amazing. Learnt a lot during the process. Also, I found Linux kernel community quite supportive and motivating towards newbies. Thanks to all coordinators, mentors, and code-reviewers. I would like to thank dri-devel project mentors Daniel Vetter and Rodrigo Siqueira for guiding me throughout the process. Last but not the least, I thank Sage Sharp and other Outreachy admins as well for clearing my doubts.
And when the results were announced …
The result was displayed on Outreachy alums page on November 16th UTC 4. I scrolled to find my name and was dancing in joy when I saw it under the Linux Kernel. Super excited and all set for a wonderful journey ahead !!!
I am looking forward to contributing effectively and learning as much as I can. And cheers to the new beginnings.
What are my takeaways from the process?
- Ask questions: Express your self and asking questions gives a direction to problems you are stuck on.
- Learning: With every new difficulty you encounter, there is always something to learn.
- Working in a community: Yes, you get a chance to interact with amazing and experienced developers around the world.
- And of Course the confidence I got when my contributions were accepted.
- It’s never too late: Yes, just step out and begin because the amount of learning involved is invaluable.