A strong part of the open source community is working with others. I have had the good fortune to be in a position to work closely with another applicant over the last week.
Shruti (who blogs here) lives in India and is currently a student. She found out about the GNOME Outreach Program for Women through her love of OpenStack (via Facebook) and had contacted the same mentor as myself, Iccha. Iccha introduced us via email and we have been working together as a team since that introduction.
It was funny the way it worked out, we met each other the day prior to American Thanksgiving, which Iccha being in the US celebrates and neither Shruti or I do (I’m in Canada). So there we were, neither Shruti or I really knowing what we were doing, trying to get devstack working. Off to IRC we go.
I had previously met jpich on IRC and introduced her and Shruti. We had a lively interaction understanding various error messages and reading documentation trying to get operational environments on our respective systems.
Now had Shruti or I approached a different mentor or had Iccha not introduced us, I may have spent my time flailing away by myself waiting for Iccha to resurface after her holidays. By introducing us to each other and leaving us to figure it out on our own, we filled in the gaps ourselves and continued to work away, asking questions, having doubts, making mistakes, reading documentation and having success. Success is nicer when you have someone to share it with.
I’m not sure if this is quite the way the GNOME Outreach Program for Women is supposed to work, but this is how it is working for us. We have a daily email thread where Shruti and I share with Iccha our initial topic for the day with intended next steps. This allows for feedback and suggestions from the other two. When one of us is unavailable perhaps the other can offer something supportive if only an ascii smile.
We have good conversations with other OpenStack mentors and OpenStackers not involved in the program at all. Turns out they are genuinely nice even if they don’t know we are applicants.
I also think we encourage each other. Having another applicant to work with is a better gauge of accomplishment than comparing ones work with the mentor. I think it heartens me to work with another applicant and I am glad it is Shruti. She is friendly and intelligent and a hard worker.
I really like the energy we have created between and amongst us during the application process and I hope we can continue to grow and expand it during the execution of the program.
Thanks for reading,