Time seems to fly by so fast when you are a student of Rails Girls Summer of Code and a contributor of a project you love.
What is Rails Girls Summer of Code
Rails Girls Summer of Code is an award-winning global fellowship program aimed at bringing more diversity into Open Source. Successful applicants are paid a monthly stipend, from July to September, to work on Open Source projects of their choice.
Rails Girls Summer of Code is about helping newcomers to the world of programming further expand their knowledge and skills, by contributing to a worthwhile Open Source project. The focus is not on producing highly sophisticated code, but rather participants learning transferable skills from their project work.
Rails Girls Summer of Code is a not-for-profit organization that operates solely on the generous donations of sponsors, and individuals from the community.
How Rails Girls Summer of Code started
After picking each other as teammates, Jona and I had to decide about the project we wanted to spend our summer working on. Wait, what about the name of the team? CODEAHOLICS.
After scouting all the projects listed, the first one that was deemed a perfect fit for them was Nextcloud. Why? Because we were already using it and we also have a Tirana Nextcloud community. Both of us believe that when you use something and you like it, it’s very easy for you to start promoting and
working on it, in this way you will always do something that you love and are not forced to. We decided to work on the contacts app and documentation part during the summer. After finishing the application we were “stressed” waiting about the final result. Who could imagine that we would be one of the lucky teams, being the first albanian team part of RGSoC! Imagine our happy faces when we saw the approval email, yaaay 😀
Some of the challenges that our team has faced during this period:
- First of all, installing the Nextcloud server locally was not as easy for us as we first assumed.
- Before attending RGSoC we barely had any experience with Git on an important open source project as Nextcloud with a lot of people contributing into it. During our journey we made many mistakes and had to do some researches on different Git commands. Thanks to the friendly community over at Nextcloud, we learned many new Git commands, now it’s just a matter of remembering them 🙂
- Another challenging thing was working remotely together over different time-zones (6 hours difference) as Jona was attending “Flock to Fedora Conference” in Boston.
Things we have learned
Despite the challenges we had during our summer, we have learned a lot of new things. Here are some of the things we can recall:
- Pair programming, a very good way to keep each other on task. Brainstorming helps a lot when you work as a team. Don’t forget that two brains are better than one.
- AngularJS concepts: we learned about controllers, services, promises, filters and much more.
- We learned about vCard format standards and specification.
- New Git Commands that were really useful for our daily job.
- Asking for help. There are always people out there willing to help, especially on the Nextcloud IRC channels.
I created my first PR on tje first week and then began contributing on Nextcloud by fixing some starter issues, opening new issues, testing and reviewing etc.
I’m currently focused on developing a new feature: “favorite contacts”, allowing users to quickly favourite some of their contacts.
What will be next? I will continue contributing to Contacts and other apps as well .
Girl Power at the Nextcloud conference!
One of the best things about working on the open source projects are the conferences. Codeaholics joined the Nextcloud Conference on 22-29 August in Berlin, Germany. Jona and I were the early birds who arrived in the morning on the first day, waiting for other contributors to join the conference.
Finally, we had the chance to meet our coaches Morris and Joas in person, our mentor joined us as well. We had four amazing days full of hacking and working on specific tasks on Nextcloud. It’s very helpful when you have your coaches nearby so you can directly ask them and clarify in case of any doubts. In addition to meeting our coaches we also met many other contributors during our stay in Berlin. Fun fact: We knew most of them already by their GitHub usernames, that’s why the first question we asked them was their github username. 😉
We attended some talks related to the collaboration between Red Hat and Nextcloud, Collabora Online, how the Technical University of Berlin uses Nextcloud, Scalability Recommendations, Security etc.
Nextcloud Conference. (Photo:Raghu Nayyar, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.)
On the weekend, there were some lightning talks and workshops where we also shared our experience as RGSoC students with them (a lot of applauses in the end, yaaay)! It was a wonderful conference and a great opportunity to network with the community behind Nextcloud, which makes you feel more motivated to keep contributing. And just for the record, coding while drinking Club Mate is one of the best feelings ever. (Try it :P)
During our stay in Berlin we attended the “Open Source Ladies” event together with Jan, which is an event that aims to help women contribute to open source projects and guide them how to join their communities. It was very nice to meet some new enthusiastic Open Source Ladies from Berlin and share our experiences.
A never-to-be-forgotten summer
It was a never-to-be-forgotten summer – one of those summers that leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going. Is it the end? Definitely NO, our journey does not end here. We are both open source enthusiasts and the gained experience we had this summer has inspired us even more to continue contributing to coding part of open source projects.
Thanks RGSoC for this amazing experience we had during this summer, we are happy to be one of the RGSoC alumni now and share our journey with other people!