GSSoC 2019: Two months of Coding Mentorship with Techtonica!

The awesomeatic journey has finally come to an end! 😭 I am talking about GirlScript Summer of Code 2019. Now read on...

GSSoC Logo

Contents

  1. What's GSSoC?
  2. Mentoring Tasks
  3. Techtonica Project
  4. Student Experiences
  5. Summing things up...

What's GSSoC?

Being an Open Source supporter, contributor and enthusiast, I came to know about the awesomeness of GirlScript Summer of Code 2019, the 3 month long Open Source program during summers conducted by GirlScript Foundation, started in 2018, with an aim to help beginners get started with Open Source Development while encouraging diversity.

Throughout the program, participants contribute to different projects under guidance of experienced mentors. GirlScript Foundation was founded by Anubha Maneshwar with leaders like Mohit Varu and Sachin Pandey. Being a mentor, I was recently contacted by one person, who said it would be great for both me and others if I mentor here and asked me to talk to Yashika Kalra. 🤘🏻

Magic Happened ✨

Although I was late to the program, specifically a month late, we all have heard about the "Indian Standard Time", where people like me are always late to the party but make sure that the entrance is grand (hopefully, that's the same case here). After a series of discussions, I was allowed to choose (or finally allocated to) the Techtonica's curriculum project. 😎

Here I met Alina Lodahl, Project Admin/ Mentor for the Techtonica Curriculum Project in GSSoC. She's from San Francisco, California and we had a crazy timezone difference. In spite of that, she had been so sweet to me, appreciating the fact that I joined very late and answering questions politely without getting annoyed (truly, I asked some crazy questions at crazy times). Now I am officially a mentor in GSSoC 2019! 😇

Mentoring Tasks

All the mentoring tasks were just divided into three major tasks. It's all about imbibing the knowledge of Git & GitHub into the students and as a mentor I should be doing the following.

  • review pull requests
  • help with concepts
  • update the score card
  • generally support the team

Other than updating the score card (which seemed like an Excel Sheet manipulation task, which I never wanted to come near in my life 😅), everything else seemed great as I wanted to mentor as many as students possible and make a great impact in their lives. Oh yeah, that's the reason for me to forcefully join the team of awesome students who will later become super duper developers.

Influencing Mentors...

Even though I try to make an awesome impact in the lives of students, there were people who made some impact through their dedication and contribution towards the project. Even though I haven't had a great chat with the mentors, some people have a special place in my heart for where I was with the project.

Yashika and Alina helped me not drown with the amount of tasks that's been bombarded. The most I have worked with are my co-mentors Kundan Kumar and Prashant Jain. We all worked on maintaining the right scores for the right tasks and man, it was tremendous. 😅

Other co-mentors Shwetha Acharya, Ho Duc Hieu, Manaswini Das were also extremely helpful and guided everyone including other mentors, whenever they get stuck in a problem and replying as quick as possible to the questions posted on the Slack channels, in spite of them having a full time day job.

If you really want to know the monumental work involved, have a look at GSSoC 2019 stats. As a result, most of the mentors received a swag and a certificate from the GSSoC 2019 team! 😁

My Certificate

Not just Excel Sheets!

While scoring is an integral part of GSSoC, we were also looking into the content quality, checking for plagiarism, content integrity and code quality. Along with that, I was also helping a few students on how to use the Git versioning system and use Typora for editing Markdown files.

I had a good time mentoring and helping about three students, two from my project and one from another team in GSSoC. It was indeed tough for me to get the freshers understand the Git flow and how git works, which I thought it would have been an easier job.

Techtonica Project

I was assigned to a project, which is the curriculum of Techtonica, a free tech training and job placement program for women and non-binary adults with low incomes, made possible by Michelle Glauser, Founder and CEO of Techtonica, Judy Tuan, Technical Apprenticeship Program Manager and TaLea Carpenter, Associate Program Manager. Here's their team.

Techtonica Team

They are based in the bay area and Techtonica partners with tech companies to provide free tech training, living stipends, and job placement to women and non-binary adults in need in the Bay Area.

Student Experiences

Well, I don't want to call them "students" or "mentees" anymore. They are now my friends! 😅 The good thing was that I worked with Yati Padia, who's one of the Grand Contributors in GSSoC 2019. I'll say proudly I worked with her or mentored her.

Next person is Manvi Tyagi, who's so ambitious and had a lot of ideas to share with me and we both started working on a small project too! It was a fun little project and we both learned a lot. I had the privilege of influencing her a lot in the tech stuff, especially deploying projects, which she really needed at the time.

My mentoring motto...

I believe I influenced those I have mentored with too! I am happy to mentor as many as people possible in my lifetime as I believe knowledge should be shared to the world for free. I would be really happy for those who approach me through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp or my personal website for any kind of mentoring needs or requirements, I am always open! 😇

Summing things up...

The open source initiative by Girlscript Foundation is honestly, by far the best one I have come across in the recent times. And when you are also getting the students to learn and get used to the way, IT industries work, this opens up better candidates applying for jobs and well, we can trust them on the fact that the students know what they are doing! 👍🏻

This not only gets their knowledge in Open Source software up, but also proves their committment to a project for about three months, out of their comfort zone, a public recognition and display of their contributions towards open source, an identity for themselves to show to the recruitment professionals and all these make their employability more and their profiles definitely stand out! 😇

I am extremely happy to have been a part of this and when talked to Aakanksha Jain, who is an organiser of GSSoC 2019, she had a lot of ideas that can be implemented for more students to become professionals. Also, I would like to use this opportunity to let everyone who sees this blog post know that I am happy to refer the right professionals in the UK for career and would also be happy to provide guidance! 🤘🏻



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