Open-source contributions. It is good enough.

Ever since I finished my Outreachy Internship, I have been contributing to several open-source projects here and there.  Even so, whenever I was asked on if I am currently contributing to any open-source project I often said no. I said no not because I wanted to be dishonest, but because at that specific point I felt what I contributed was insignificant. Can you imagine?

open-source code on laptop screen

I decided to reflect my contributions in a reverse motion and think of how far I have come in this past year.

An open-source  journey

 

Add Authentication (user accounts) with Devise

As I was doing the rail girls training in the first Rail Girls Athens workshop I noticed a link on the manual is not working. My initial gut action was, report the bug! Then I thought… “Wait, I know how to contribute to open source and I know how to fix it. How about I try to do so.”
This is an interesting way to contribute, finding something buggy while you are using something and realizing it might be something you can fix, then going ahead to fix it and see how it goes.

–  Added List Delete Example

I applied to attend the first local Django girl workshop in Athens. I did not get selected however I did not let that stop me from doing the tutorial, I did it myself then found a piece in the tutorial that I thought would be better explained with some examples. So I decided to contribute to it.
Improving already existing projects is cool too.

Swag I got from participating in hacktoberfest 2015 an open-source initiation.
Swag I got from participating in hacktoberfest 2015.

– Learn X in Y minutes : Fixing some typos sample contribution

Last year I wanted to take part in Hacktoberfest, I was trying to find ways to get started. I notice the Learn X in Y minutes had some documentation in Greek language however, there were a few typos. I decided to fix several of them. Do you know a unique language? Maybe you can help an open-source project in close captioning, documentation, or translation.

– Adding Consistency: Hugo

Sometimes contributing is not overly complicated, things such as adding consistency to a documentation can be very beneficial as it makes it easier to read.

Read more

Talk Coaching: Few Lessons to Keep in Mind

Black Microphone Before a Talk

Few weeks ago I was provided with the opportunity to do a 1-1 professional talk coaching session, as part of Mozilla Tech Speakers training. Since such opportunities do not come as often, I decided to share the experience with you all, so that you can get the chance to gain some valuable knowledge like I did. This way, we all get an equal opportunity to learn, and improve. Now let us go right to the gist, below I will post my takeaways in a random order.

Lessons on Giving a Talk

When you are giving a talk, speaking to people, you want them to feel who you are, and know you a little.

Before going out to the stage or wherever you are going to speak at, ask yourself, “What is it that I love about this group of people today?” When you ask yourself this question it will give you a sense of motivation that will make you speak with more passion to your audience.

What they hear and do after your talk is what matters. When you give a talk, also try to see it as a learning opportunity for you. Ask yourself “How can I use this opportunity to learn more about my topic?”. You need to find the way to bring out your best self.

Now about keeping your audience engaged….Everything you do or say should be for them.

Mystery is a good motivator to keep people. Hold back info, build it up…then reveal.

Questions are powerful, however, one caveat of it is that, if you ask the wrong question, you might lose credibility.

Read more

My MozFest UK 2015 Experience

My MozFest UK 2015 Experience

Few weeks ago I attended MozFest (Mozilla Festival) UK. I had an awesome time for the most part. I really liked London. I liked how multicultural it was, and how a lot of people at MozFest were so nice.

This was my first time traveling out of Greece. Yup my first time. I thought traveling would be scarier than what it actually was. I enjoyed my flight and the whole traveling experience went smoothly. I was really proud of this whole… ‘Traveling on your own’ successful experience.

I went to MozFest as part of the participation leaders’ team so the first day involved a dinner with the team. I got to meet a lot of great people from around the world and get to know them. Some were to do sessions at MozFest, others came to support or just participate and learn skills they could use in the future.

What I absolutely loved about going to MozFest was that I was able to see some super amazing people! People that I spoke to on IRC while working on Air Mozilla. I got to see the awesome Air Mozilla airship which I admire and saw the people that made it happen! I was super happy to see part of the  team.

WP_20151106_17_45_02_Pro
Air Mozilla Airship

 

Seeing the people I worked with on the summer was very special to me because I always wanted to get to know them. Read more

The Outreachy Experience – End – Project Overview

Outreachy ended few weeks back. I however didn’t write a closing article and that is, because I was preparing one with an overview of what I worked on and about applying to Outreachy.

Without further delay, those asking about my experience or interested in Outreachy/Mozilla / Open Source / Tech can check it out here: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2015/09/implementing-air-mozillas-related-events-feature/

Outreachy Internship Week #11 #12

So this week ended well, I was stuck with some minor bugs for quite some time. After discussion and pair programming with my mentor those were very tiny mistakes that caused huge problems. However after finishing resolving that and me thinking “Oh great now I can move on” the next day I got some odd error!

I am proud to say that my project involved a lot of code but a lot more debugging! Getting stuck is very common and I learnt that is one of the aspect of programming. Before I thought it was all about, getting a project to do. Flawlessly coding it and it works! Not hours of debugging. Eventually, when you try to add a new feature into a huge code base and the major tool you are using is new to you. This stuck – unstuck cycle gets pretty common.

If you followed my previous posts, I have to tell you that the code  I showed back then is totally changed. The same with how it all looks like.

On Saturday I decided to do some work. There are few weeks left! Actually less than 2 weeks so it is time to accelerate.

I fixed all the pyflake errors but I now seem to get a “cucumber” error. I didn’t install cucumber testing tool, but I did do rebase and fetched the current changes from airmozilla master. Which leads me to think that, that is what cause the issue.

Now I am doing a type article + code session, to resolve the problem live.

>> ImportError: No module named celery

My solution was to install Celery: pip install celery

THAT happened to NOT be the solution because as soon as I installed that, I got…

>>ImportError djcelery: No module named djcelery

My solution to that was to install django-celery: pip install django-celery

Now my tests run but come out failed. Did I say it was working the day before Saturday?

The most interesting thing of all is, things were working well a day before then I turned off the laptop and the test were not running the next day.

Isn’t that odd?

Well, it’s time to get off and try to resolve this so I can move on with writing tests.

 

Brief Progress Overview – Week #9 #10

This week i’ll give another brief overview. It is getting more and more busy which makes long blog posts pretty challenging,

at least till the internship starts getting towards a successful end. I really hope things go as well as I want them to, in the next weeks.

 

What have you accomplished this week (list specific items accomplished)?

 

– Went back to basics. Stopped working on what I was working and instead tried to make it work in plain python.

– Things seem to be functioning well in the plain python file.

What issues or roadblocks have you encountered this week?
– I have been having some errors while trying to run my simple unit test

–  Trying to get the most relevant posts appear higher.

Have they been resolved, and if so, how?

– The unit test errors which was there last week is on its way to being resolved.  In the next week or so.

– The most relevant post issue seems to be fixed, but needs further testing. It was resolved by implementing  a negative boost in elastic search more like this query.

Do any of the issues or roadblocks still exist and what steps have been
taken to resolve them?

– Yes I need to fix some bugs that lead to wrong related results i.e. use analyzer

I have discuss it with my mentor and  so far we decided I first get the unit test working, then

I work on fixing the bulk indexing and lastly we work on the analyzers before we move on

to anything additional that might come up.
How does your progress compare to your project schedule?

A bit behind of where I want to be I think. It is time to speed up kind of.

Brief Progress Overview – Week #7 #8

Today I am noting a very brief overview of what I have been working on in the past two weeks…

What have you accomplished this week (list specific items accomplished)?

– Make sure the new feature is rendered in the template

– started writing test cases
.

What issues or roadblocks have you encountered this week?
– I have been having some errors while trying to run my simple unit test

–  There are a lot more fixes I need to work on than I thought.

Have they been resolved, and if so, how?

– The unit test errors are still there but I am working  on resolving them

– I need to find a way to properly use analyzers just for the tags

Do any of the issues or roadblocks still exist and what steps have been
taken to resolve them?

– Yes I need to fix some bugs that lead to wrong related results i.e. use analyzer

I have discuss it with my mentor and  so far we decided I first get the unit test working, then

I work on fixing the bulk indexing and lastly we work on the analyzers before we move on

to anything additional that might come up.
How does your progress compare to your project schedule?

On schedule I believe, but I have a lot more things I need to soon complete.

Coming up with a rough prototype! – Week #5 #6

These past two weeks I have been able to come up with a rough prototype.

There are a lot of things to fix and polish. It happened that my elastic search query is kind of buggy and not returning the expected results, so I need to tweak some things right there and make sure it is functioning as expected. I now officially see events in my view sorted out nicely based on their relevance scores.

events in display
Displaying the relevant events in the view.

If you check the URL you’ll see the event I am looking for related content on is called something like “Club Firefox Australis”. Based on the elastic search query I showed the previous time.

I said “The query above scans an index and returns files that have a minimum of 1 similar term frequency and a maximum of 5, in the event titles.” The query I am currently working on looks a bit different because it was refactored and I had to write it with a more appropriate syntax.  The way it is now written, it checks for similarity in the title, channels and tags of the event. Here is a snippet of how that has changed. Read more

Adventures with Elastic Search – #week 3 & 4

Last week I did not blog about my outreachy internship. That is because I was stuck with elastic search.

I have the feeling of being Alice in the Wonderland. I was lost in the maze last week, and no, there was no special rabbit to help me, no special potion to get me from novice to advanced! However there were bugs,  and the bugs were my enemies.

I got some feedback from my awesome mentor Peter and we decided I change approach.

I usually use to go with small snippets of non functional code seeking for some help to unstuck. However that might have not been the best approach. I mean, I am learning something new, sometimes I have to allow myself to be stuck and get unstuck on my own. It is part of the process, but I have my deadlines and I really did not want to go past them so I resorted to that approach. Now I am shifting from that to shipping some functional code on which I will be asking feedback on instead. That is a great leap. It made me worry initially, being stuck is never fun, but this is worth trying.

Last week there was no functional code. This current  week, I finally started seeing some light in the tunnel. I am optimistic about that.

First of all my elastic search queries work!!! That is a progress that happened yesterday. Read more

Summer Internship Begins #Mozilla #Outreachy

This is more of a late announcement, well, it could be taken as an early announcement as well, based on which point of view you are taking.

* So I was selected to be one of Outreachy 30 interns! Yay. *

What is Outreachy?

Outreachy is the successor of the Outreach Program for Women (OPW). OPW was inspired by Google Summer of Code and by how few women applied for it. The GNOME Foundation first started OPW with one round in 2006, and then resumed the effort in 2010 with rounds organized twice a year. In the May 2012 round, Software Freedom Conservancy joined OPW with one internship with the Twisted project. In the January 2013 round, many other free and open source organizations joined the program. For the May 2015 round, the program was renamed to Outreachy with the goal of expanding to engage people from various underrepresented groups and was moved to Software Freedom Conservancy as its organizational home.

This program is a welcoming link that connects talented and passionate newcomers with people working in free and open source software and guides them through their first contribution. Through Outreachy, participants learn how exciting and valuable work on software freedom can be, while helping us to build a more inclusive community.

For more info on what’s Outreachy you can check here – Outreachy Info

Which company did I apply for?

In specific I applied for only 1 company and that is Mozilla. I believe Mozilla is a cool company to work for and contribute to and I like the way it supports the open web. My mentor from Mozilla is also super awesome! He really knows how to mentor from my experience so far, he is patient, welcoming, resourceful and knows how to keep people motivated. I believe other employees at Mozilla might be as cool, but I haven’t met many of them due to this being done remotely. However the few I have met on the IRC/bugzilla were all super nice, helpful and welcoming. So I am very happy working with them all and believe this will be a nice and productive summer.

So yes I am super happy for it. I might share on how it all went at some point down the road if I get asked a lot.

Day 1 started with memorial day which is a holiday in the USA I got the chance to meet other cool interns doing internships on other opensource projects. I learnt a lot from the few minutes we talked and it is nice hearing how we are all going through this experience.

How did I get involved with Opensource?

Prior to this I had absolutely no idea on how to contribute to opensource even though I really wanted to. I googled endlessly online just to find good but limited information. I couldn’t find something as succinct as I wanted that could help me learn to contribute as a “newbie”, but this whole experience up to this day has made me learn way too much than I knew back then and I am glad that I applied and didn’t let my doubts stop me from it.  If I get the chance maybe I should write a succinct “How – to” sort of thing, to make someone else’s life easier when it comes to doing your first contribution to opensource projects, and get more people involved with it. I’ll think about that, for now I’m focusing on learning and contributing to Mozilla. I have submitted several bug fixes/patches of code that have been merged and that was an awesome experience.

How has week 1 been so far?

This week was my first week, I downloaded elastic search which we plan using for this project I will be working on if it fits what we are looking for. If it doesn’t then it will be switched to something else. So far I have been trying to figure out how to get it to do what I want it to do based on its documentation. I wished  I could find more real-life examples on how it is used in python/django. I am still searching for such materials and trying to read more about it.

OK. What project are you working for?

I am working on Air Mozilla. Air Mozilla is the Internet multimedia presence of Mozilla, with live and pre-recorded shows, interviews, news snippets, tutorial videos, and features about the Mozilla community. Mozilla creates software that promotes the goals of the Open Web.

Wanna have a look on Air Mozilla ? Check here => air mozilla page

 

I am looking forward to the day I complete my project, I really hope that day comes soon so I can take a deep breath of relief that “I made it!”  🙂

In the next weeks I’ll be blogging more of my experience so if you are interested in it, keep an eye on the blog.

while True:

good_luck(“Gloria”)

Stay tuned!