For the coming summer I don’t have an internship as of now. I applied to many companies, interviewed for a few and didn’t get interview for which I was selected by a few more. But not having an internship doesn’t mean the end of the world. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise, I guess, to improve what I currently know and to learn more.
I have been doing open source since the start of my second year, and I am quite familiar now with all the jargons, tips and tricks of the trade. Best of all, I learned VCS (Git) by doing open source work.
Last year, I came to know of this amazing open source thing called Google Summer of Code conducted annually by Google, where a student works on an open source software for an entire summer and after completion, his software is used by millions of people around the community and the world.
Obviously, I was amazed by this and of course, the name Google attached with something makes it sound grand.
Alas, I was late to the party. I got to know about this in mid - march which was almost the end of student application’s period. And thus, I couldn’t apply for GSoC last year. This year however, it was a different story. I made some contributions to an organisation, later become a collaborator and member of the organisation. Along with this I regularly did some projects apart from all the academic ones. And yes, I kept an eye for GSoC’18 from November end.
So, when the organizations were announced this year, I took around 4 - 5 days to go through the list, shortlisted which really interested me and then I looked over the projects these organizations were offering. Among all my shortlisted one, I finally selected Space@VT. Then, I contacted the mentors of the desired projects I wanted to work on. They directed me to the source code of the current version. Along with this, I had to complete a demo task for displaying coding proficiency. For the demo task, I proposed an idea which was accepted by the mentors.
Now, I started working on the demo task and the proposal for the project. A blog post coming up on the details of the task and how I went about it. One can view the source code of the task here.
It took me around 10 - 11 days to complete the demo task along with the proposal. Then I got in touch with mentors and mailed them the first draft for their feedback. I received a positive feedback and the mentors were really interested to know about some of the deductions that I had made in my demo task. A couple of mails were exchanged where I described the resources, how I came up with the particular deductions, etc. All this happened in the first week of march and from the second week I had my mid-semester exams in the college. This meant that I had to finish up the proposal draft and demo task before it. After gruelling 10 days of going through papers, studying from various sites and reading books for completing the demo task, I finally finished the work. And then I followed it up with a week of exams. Yes, I survived the exams !
Now, I had only a week left. I had to finetune (as we say in Machine learning terms) the proposal. Here, my mom and my friends came to my rescue. These people would proof-read the proposal and send me a list of improvements that could be done. Even though, I don’t have the luxury of living at home (Yes, a hosteler), my friends made my life easier and provided me help in whichever way was possible.
A big thanks to my mom. A great shoutout to Rajorshi and Akshay who helped me with the proofreading and pointed out all the formatting errors that I had made. Also, a big thanks to Pratik who would bring me packed food in case I couldn’t go myself.
So after finally submitting the proposal today in the morning, I feel a great amount of joy. The immense learning that came with demo task was a challenge itself. But, what would be life without challenges ?
Now, keeping my fingers crossed. The results will be announced on 23 April 2018. The whole process of just applying to this open source fiesta made me learn new stuff. Overall, the entire application period was fun working and exploring new domains.