Last month, we hosted the kickoff meeting to welcome and congratulate seven new Outreachy interns who will be working with us on different projects for the next three months.

This is the sixth round of Outreachy internships in the OpenStack community and I'm very excited to say this is the biggest round ever. More than 20 people applied for more than six different projects in OpenStack, and we had several people in the community willing to join us as mentors for the December 2015 - March 2016 intern program.

A brief intro to the Outreachy program

Outreachy helps people from underrepresented groups get involved in free and open source software. This internships last three months and are organized twice a year. Several open source projects including GNOME, KDE, oVirt, Linux Kernel, Mozilla, Wikimedia, QEMU, Xen and, of course, OpenStack join and invite applicants to work on their projects.

"I aim to utilize the Outreachy platform in order to make valuable contributions to OpenStack with the support of mentors and other community folks," said Akanksha Agrawal an intern for the Sahara project.

Thanks to Outreachy, several former interns now work on open source projects and/or succeeding in other activities in the field.

As a former Outreachy intern, I strongly believe this program is making a huge change, both for the communities involved and the interns. During my time as an intern, I learned a lot about open source, not only the technical aspects but also the social ones. Now, as a mentor, I expect to give something back to our community and share this knowledge with newcomers, giving them the opportunity to work on something that inspires them, encouraging them to reach their goals and helping to reduce the diversity gap we nowadays have in most open source communities. Our community needs motivated hands and a fresh look to keep making OpenStack a huge success.

The best part is that no one goes through this alone. To foster success, each intern is paired with a mentor. Any one who has been involved with a project and works in a full-time role for that project can join as a mentor. Mentors are expected to guide interns so they can take their first steps easily and complete their projects on time. Mentoring should not be a time-consuming activity since we expect the interns to be independent and proactive enough, and it's a very enriching experience.

"I'm hoping to be able to help bring new people to OpenStack in particular and open source software in general," said Kirill Zaitsev, a mentor for the Murano project. "I see this as an excellent opportunity for me to share some of the knowledge I have with the next generation of software developers. I also hope that this Outreachy round will bring a lot of new members to the OpenStack community, and it's awesome to be part of it."

Get involved as an intern, mentor or sponsor

The next round of Outreachy internships will have an application deadline on March 22, 2016, and internship dates from May 23 to August 23. Coding, design, documentation and other projects will be available.

To apply as an intern, make sure you join #openstack-opw on irc.freenode.org, or the mailing list.

We encourage you to learn about the different OpenStack projects and to reach out mentors from past rounds to talk about the projects they are working on and maybe plan something for the future. You can find more useful information on the Outreachy wiki.

To join as a mentor, contact the program coordinators at #openstack-opw on irc.freenode.org. We will be glad to help you get started! For more information, check out: https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Outreachy/Mentors

To sponsor an internship, please refer to https://wiki.gnome.org/Outreachy/Admin/InfoForOrgs

Interns

Now, let me introduce the interns for this round, along with the projects they will be working on and their mentors.

Akanksha Agrawal (Akanksha08) from Pune, Maharashtra, India, will be working on Sahara with her mentor Mike McCune on the project "Improving anti-affinity behavior for cluster creation."

Rohini Choudhary (enthurohini) from Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh, India, will be working on Murano with her mentors Ekaterina Chernova and Kirill Zaitsev on the project "Implementation of tagging heat stacks created by Murano."

Eva Balycheva (Eva-i) from Saint Petersburg, Russia will be hacking on Zaqar with me as a mentor on the project "Implementing support for binary data in the websocket transport."

Sonali Goyal (sonali) from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India will be working on Trove with Amrith Kumar and Victoria Martínez de la Cruz on the project "Users and databases CRUD operations for CouchDB."

Catherine Northcott (Zyric) from Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand will be hacking on Swift with John Dickinson in the project "Information gathering for Swift accounts in a cluster for utilization and auditing purposes."

Njira Perci (njirap) from Nairobi City, Nairobi County, Kenya will be working on Documentation with Alexandra Settle on the project "Configuration reference migration."

Petra Sargent (psargent) from Rolesville, North Carolina, USA will be working on Neutron with Neil Jerram on the project "Pluggable IPAM support for host-dependent IP address allocation."

Congratulations to all the new interns and a huge thanks for all the mentors \who joined this round!

What do you expect from the internship?

"I expect that this internship will help me grow professionally as a developer and expose me to what it's like to work with an open source community. With Outreachy in particular, unlike other internships, I have the opportunity to connect and work with a very diverse group of people from all around the world interested in freedom and technology - it's a really special program and I'm glad to be a part of it," said Catherine Northcott, Swift intern.

"Participation in the program might be a great opportunity for me to turn my programming hobby into a career, grow professionally, learn new wonderful technologies, steal some best practices and make new friends. (...) And what I find most cool about all of this is that I'll be working on free and open source software. Sounds like a dream," said Eva Balycheva, Zaqar intern.

"My expectation from internship is to dive into open source, try and learn new things with support of great developres and mentors, because i beleive whatever we do, its god or bad, having more eyes on our work makes it more better," said Rohini Choudhary, Murano intern.

Mentors

What do you expect from the internship?

"As an Outreachy internship mentor I am eager to be involved with the next generation of software developers. I hope to learn more about teaching, and improve my abilities to communicate software development ideas," said Mike Mccune, Sahara mentor. "I also look forward to the successes of all the interns in the program, it is truly inspiring for me to see the level of dedication and talent that exists within them. My greatest desire in participating with the internship is to give something back to a community that has provided me immeasurable joy and opportunity over my lifetime, I wish to see that spirit passed on and enjoyed by future generations."

"To me Outreachy internship, as the name suggests, is about diverse groups learning the ways of Open Source computing. Interns, with the help of mentors, should strive to have a real world experience of collaborating with developers with varied level of experience, product managers, architects etc. Interns should be able to write good software that matters to the world as well as improve their communication skills & technical writing abilities since they get bountiful opportunities for the same. A successful Outreachy intern will be confident to work on other Open Source projects and they are likely to be productive from day one in their near future career prospects," Nikhil Komawar, Glance mentor.

Cover Photo // CC BY NC