Hello! This blog is part of the series of blogs I am writing during my Outreachy Dec 2021-March 2022) internship with the Chris Project (Children's Research Integration System) a Boston Children's Hospital project .Before I dive on what actually ChRIS is,let me share with you my outreachy journey.
What is outreachy?
Outreachy is a paid, remote internship program. Outreachy's goal is to support people from groups underrepresented in tech. Outreachy interns work on open source projects guided by experienced mentors.The internship projects may include programming, user experience, documentation, illustration, graphical design, or data science.
if my memory serves me right ,I came to know about the Outreachy program on January 2020 on the Facebook developers group Nairobi.However,I felt that I lacked the required competence to participate in such a program.Moreover I had never engaged with any large open-source project before.Fast forward January 2021, having improved on my skills and the outreachy initial application for the May to August 2021 internships! being open, I decided why not give it a try.I was beyond elated when I saw an email update
Hi Eugine, Welcome to the contribution period of the Outreachy May 2021 internship round! Your initial application for Outreachy has been approved.*
At the beginning of any journey, it’s easy to assume that everything will go smoothly. There is all this excitement, anticipation, enthusiasm, and energy that motivates us to push forward. However, this soon dissipates when, all of a sudden, we face our first big hurdle.My first challenge was picking one or two projects that I would be contributing to, most of the projects had already many applicants .Before I finally settled on Chris ,going over majority of the projects was a really time-consuming process.I chose to contribute to the Chris project because of two reasons;The ChRIS project was late entrant to the list of projects , so it had fewer applicants, I was familiar with their tech-stack(React, Typescript, Django)
Save for obstacles I faced while learning more about the ChRIS project and understanding about the codebase, I think my contribution period went on smoothly.i was now waiting for the announcement of the outreachy internship results.Oops!, much to my disappointment, I had not being selected as an Intern.
My confidence levels really went down and I kept questioning my capabilities.You see the one-month contribution period is really time-consuming and Intensive.I believed that I had given it my all.What seemed like a sure-thing was now clouded in uncertainty. No longer was I enthusiastic, but rather, maybe, a little confused, frustrated, overwhelmed and even fearful of what might come about. That failure almost stopped me from pursuing my dreams of becoming an outreachy intern
When the application for the Dec 2021-March 2022 internship round was open, I was reluctant to submit my initial application.I remember submitting it a day before the deadline.I decide d to give it the last shot, and before I was even before my initial was approved, I sought feedback from my mentors(Mairin Duffy and Jennings Zhang) to improve my chances for this round. To cut the long story short, thanks to their amazing feedback, I am now on the fourth week of my outreachy internship.
My biggest lesson from this experience has been perseverance and persistence and I can't really wait to achieve my dreams.Persistence is a huge key to overcome challenges. Giving up means that you will neither overcome the challenge nor learn from it.I realized that many applicants apply two or three times before they get accepted for the outreachy internship.By the way there is no harm in trying and no matter the outcome, you will always have grown a step further.Just remember that a new day is like a blank page, you have the ability to rewrite your wrongs and it is just another day to dream some more.