Week 9: My Career Goals

I have successfully reached week 9 of my internship. Even though am writing this late, this is a very important aspect of every person especially an intern like me aspiring to be a great person

I am so grateful for this documenting and proofreading skills I have obtained during this internship and I know it will help me a long way in whatever career I will find myself in. After this internship, I will continue my higher education to get a professional degree in the electrical engineering domain. This is a very great field and I think I will be great at it since I am good in mathematics and physics. I also enjoy programming and I think I will continue learning and growing with it. Open source is a very great way to contribute to a community and the world in general with software and other skills. This enhances skill development and network building. I look forward to continue contributing and working with free and open source software and advocate for it.

Personally, I hope and work towards a career that will combine electrical engineering and software or programming. Even though am still in the process, I try to develop and build my network that I believe may be resourceful in my career. Being a great listener and good observer, I believe I can fit it any team work, plus my abilities as an English and French spoken person.

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Week 7 “Modifying Expectations”

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Usually when applying for a project, you may not actually know everything about your project or be certain about how you will complete the project. This is where modifying expectations comes into place.

I am actually writing this block during the 8th week of my outreachy internship, this means the first half of the internship has already gone. My project is updating mifos X user manual and converting to gitbooks format. I have finished updating the user manual but I must admit that I took a longer period of time than I had planned. Some pages and activities in the mifos app took me a longer time to understand before I was able to update the documentation. The most important thing is to do the job and do it well.

The second half of my internship is basically converting the user manual to a gitbooks format. This means documenting all the user manual into a gitbook. Since I started late than planned, I will have to work on my project intensively during the remaining part of the project to be able to complete on time.

Working on a project or task may require you to modify your original plans or timeline, you should not be so much border given that you are not the only one doing that. Many open source contributors deal with such situations all the time and it is completely fine if you get back and complete your project successfully.

Week 5 “My Audience”

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This is my 5th week as an outreachy intern and am enjoying every bit of it. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I am working on the project “Update Mifos X user manual and convert it to Gitbooks” under the Mifos Initiative organization.

The Mifos Initiative is an organization whose goal is to speed the elimination of poverty by enabling financial service providers to more effectively and efficiently deliver responsible financial services to the world’s 2.5 billion poor and unbanked. This goal is achieved mainly through the development of the Mifos X which is a free and open source technology platform for financial inclusion of the poor. Basically everybody passionate about curbing poverty in the world is welcomed to join the Mifos community as we all share a common goal.

The Mifos X is basically a web app used by financial institutions such as banks to run their activities. So my job is to update the user manual of this web app. This is because the user manual was previously written for the older version of the web app, and as newer versions of the app are released, the user manual has to be updated to reflect the new workflows and UI design changes. This updated version will be used by everybody who works with Mifos X and will provide a better understanding of the app. While updating the user manual, I come across several new terms mostly on banking such as accruals, recurring deposits etc which prompts me to research and learn new things. Also I have learnt how to use Gitbooks and I am pretty comfortable documenting everything on it.

As I continue to update the user manual, I am most excited about the basic knowledge I acquire on banking and accounting and I can’t wait to learn more.

Week 3 “Everybody Struggles”

It has been a wonderful experience since May 20th when I began working on my project as an accepted outreachy intern. On dedicating an average of seven (7) hours a day to work on my project, I have gotten to explore new ideas, learn about things I previously had no idea of and in spite of the challenges I faced, this has had a huge impact on my overall growth as a developer.

The project I have been working on is about updating the official Mifos X user manual and converting it to Gitbooks format and it consists mainly of:

  • Updating images in the user manual
  • Documenting new features
  • Fix broken links, correct grammar and typing errors
  • Convert the updated user manual on jira to gitbooks.

I have been going through the user manual, updating content as I go through the pages and I have also created a gitbook format of the manual. In the process of updating the content, I came across a YouTube video on Jira. I had to incorporate it in the gitbook document I was writing but I had no idea. The problem was that I needed to add the video such that when you click on it to play, rather than it redirecting you to the Youtube site, it should play from my Gitbook page. All what I could do was to insert a link which was not the direct representation of what was in Jira. I decided I had to do some research on that so as to progress with my work.

I then researched it on google but I did not really find something that could help me uploading the video to Gitbooks. I went to YouTube and search “How to upload a video to Gitbooks”. After going through the first video completely, I discovered what I was searching for. So the main solution was to first download the video from Jira into my computer. From there, I could copy the video as a picture such that when you click on it, it plays from the Gitbook page.

Working on new things will always come with challenges and unexpected halts. We should always be able to do some research and ask for help whenever we are faced with a problem, then only can we ensure continuous learning and progression.

My Journey With Outreachy.

Introduction – Preselection.

I opened my gmail account and I had received a mail from the Outreachy Organizers congratulating me on being accepted for the outreachy program.

I am Massabe Kengne Lydiane, a beginner developer from Buea, Cameroon. I am interested in Open source because of the whole idea of sharing and contribution. This is a community where developers, designers, users even medical doctors (in fact people from every field) come together and work towards a common goal depending on the organisation they are involved in. You always learn when you are in a community like this where people openly contribute and find new ways or improve software for the good of the world. For a developer, it is always a good choice to enter an Open source community because there is a lot of skills building, technology learning and also experience working with other people from all over the world (diversity). There are so many benefits of working in an Open source organisation which cannot be all enumerated, so I will advice my fellow developers to take a plunge into Open source.

When I decided to enter an Open source community, I went through many organisations and I must admit that I was mostly impressed with the Mifos Initiative Organisation. The Mifos Initiative Organisation has as mission to speed the elimination of poverty by coordinating a global community that builds, supports, and uses Mifos X, a free and open source platform that enables financial service providers to more effectively and efficiently deliver responsible financial services to the world’s 2 billion poor and unbanked. Am so happy to be in this organisation where contributing code can help reducing poverty in the world and especially in my country. It has been great to contribute to this community and collaborating with amazing people all over the globe and I look forward to enjoy these three upcoming months internship period with the community.

I am in the Buea Womentech Makers Group, this group is a group where ladies are encouraged and empowered by fellow ladies to be involved in STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and mathematics). During one session meeting, I was introduced to Outreachy by a fellow girl and I saw it as a genuine opportunity to build more skills and also be more involved in Open source. As I discovered that this was a paid internship, it boosted my motivation and I decided I must apply for this internship. I made some researches online and found that I was eligible,so I decided that I will apply for this round of Outreachy (May – August 2019).

Going through the different projects my organisation presented for Outreachy, I decided to choose the project ” Update the Mifos X user manual and convert it to gitbooks”. I felt capable and ready to complete this project as it requires not too much coding and is mostly documentation. I set up my environment and was ready to start contributing. So, I began updating the user manual, that is, correcting grammatical and typo errors, updating the new pictures and features, etc. Everyday new candidates were going in for this project and I was tensed because everyone was trying to update more pages everyday to be recognized. As you will discover, applying for an easy project is risky because they are a lot of people who apply for the project and so the competition is high. This was my case, and I have learnt the lesson “never go in for an easy project”. In order to have an upper hand in the selection, I had to send three (3) pull requests on issues I have fixed and also started contributing the user manual to gitbooks in addition to the updates I was doing. After doing all these, the only remaining thing was to pray and wait for the results on the 6th of May 2019 at 5 pm local time.

I was so tensed as the time was approaching steadily but surely and all possible thoughts were going through my mind. At 4:30 pm, I tried forcing sleep unto myself but I failed and kept on thinking and holding my breath. By 5:05 pm, I opened my email and behold I could not control my joy when I saw the mail from Outreachy Organizers. I am so happy and grateful for being selected and I look forward to enjoy this rare opportunity and building my portfolio and skills with Outreachy.