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Public Lab Research note

My first blog post for outreachy

by lekhidugtal | May 28, 2019 16:06 28 May 16:06 | #19557 | #19557

Who am I ?

Hi, This is Lekhika Dugtal. I'm Pre-Final Year Student pursuing Bachelors in Technology at Information Technology and Masters of Business Administration In Indian Institute of Information technology, Allahabad. I belong to place called Dharma valley, but Now living in New Delhi, India.

My Journey

I was never been a opensource enthusiast. But I started first contributing in legit way in January 2019 in one of the opensource competition called Opencode. And Now I'm in love with it.

My First step for a contribution in a organisation was in coala where my contribution seemed minuscule thing called one line Adding Ascinema url.

It was documentation based newcomer Issue.

I did the silliest mistakes. But For me, it was a huge step towards the world of opensource. For a newcomer like me, This PR was left at it's own stake by me and though later I got to know, it somehow got merged which was surprising.

My journey was bumpy with earliest of my difficulties in rebase and understanding the new frameworks. But As I moved forwards. Believe me, It was beyond amazing.

I have always been curious about FOSS and programs like GSOC and Outreachy.

Here, I would be summing up some of my initial experiences and How I came across this program outreachy and participated in it.

So, What is Outreachy

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Outreachy (previously the Free and Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women) is a program that organises three-month paid internships with free and open-source software projects for people who are typically underrepresented in those projects.

How I came across Outreachy and My application process

I was going through some internship programs to apply for in this summer. I came across Outreachy. I thought of giving it try. The application for eligibility was huge and it took bit of ideas and time to write. And After the two-day review process, I was labelled eligible to participated in outreachy. I applied late , So I started off one and more week late than others.

Perks Of Outreachy

  • You learn a lot? You can code, communicate as a part of community.
  • You can travel ? Outreachy provides you travel stipend of $500. You can attend Conferences , Hackathons, Meetups you like without any constraints. Woaaahhhhh !!!
  • Blogging ? You write blogs about the work done during internship and this helps one a lot in documenting projects, or provide guidance to other web users.

Choosing an Organisation

This was the most difficult step according to me. The program had huge list of organisation and projects. In the list, some percent of projects were announced. As I went through them, I realised that I guess I'm not made for it. I had no connection or similarity so ever with any of the project. The tech-stacks or ideas were so different from my Skills. I did came across one project of Mozilla for web-extension. I thought of contributing and went through bugzilla but there Mentors had suggested that it had many competitors and contributors for this project So they would like new ones to go for other projects. I was like boom, the only project I was somewhat connected to is full.

So maybe I should drop the idea of Outreachy ? But It soon came to end as In a week, Another percentage of projects were announced.

At that Time, I came across the organisation called Public Lab and it's project based on UI Improvements of Public Lab's main platform based on Ruby on Rails. The Public lab was planning revamp and redesigning the UI of platform as a whole. I felt that the project idea is so made for me. I immediately introduced myself in their chat channel to get myself for aware of projects ideas, work and community.

Public Lab Organisation as a community

Public Lab is a community for DIY environmental investigation. They especially welcome contributions from people from groups underrepresented in free and open source software! Believe me, The organisation is so welcoming that you'll feel overwhelmed. You not just have humans but even the welcoming bot to welcome you.
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See !!! Just follow and love opensource like us and you are welcome to our community. Tadaaa !!!

They highly encourage you towards your first contribution in Public Lab. They have specific first-timers issue to contribute where they provide complete steps of opensource contribution. The mentors are helpful, approachable and and and highly active and talented. The organisation had open-hours community sessions for everyone to join. Everyone was encouraged to share their ideas which will help in betterment. We had weekly check-ins where we are supposed to tell about our weeks goals. They are enthusiastic and friendly org tbh.

Public Lab witnessed more than 400 new contributors in it's one project

PS : The environment is freaking awesome.

My contribution for Outreachy with Public Lab

After I selected the project I wanted to contribute. I setup the project locally. The local setup took bit of time for me. As it was in ruby on rails and I've never used one before.

So, I started contributing with Issues based on UI. I tried to work on different sections of project to understand it better. I opened Issues, did fixes. And while on last day of submitting my final application, I listed down my contributions. After submitting the final application, I didn't stop but instead keep on contributing.

Now here I'm, working on the project UI Improvements of Public Lab under the program called Outreachy.

Thanks for giving it a read ❤
I shared it on Medium.

You may visit and give it a clap.


Hi @lekhidugtal - this is super, thanks for posting!!!

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Awesome post @lekhidugtal 🎉 👏

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