Week#3 Outreachy Post: Everybody struggles

As we are expected to write sometimes about our experience during the internship, the Outreachy Organizers suggested us to write about the difficulties we find during our journey (which I find a very interesting theme, because sometimes I feel a bit lost compared to other interns, and being asked share my doubts gives me a clue that I’m not alone at all with those issues).

When I first read my e-mail it took me some days to realize what my difficulties are, as I tried to think of them as other interns would do. I decided to write this posts only after I started preparing tests so that I could have more issues to deal with, since the first weeks were just to study and my mentor was busy for a while.

Everybody struggles

1st struggle I was asked to prepare tests for a new design of the sounds settings on GNOME. Allan sent me details about how to install and run the application, but, coincidentally, my Linux version did not work well with my computer sound board, and, of course, I did not want to change my distribution at this point as it would give me some work to set things up again. I asked Allan about that, and we spent some hours trying to figure out what to do until I ended up changing my Linux to Debian 9 Stretch.

2nd struggle this one was a little easier because I had this issue exactly when I was about to have a call with Allan, so he was available to help me. As we are using flatpak to install the apps, for some reason Allan may know better than I, something went wrong installing flatpak on Debian and I wasn’t able to install the app I was going to test. I screenshoted my error and asked for help on the GNOME-hackers channel, where some people quickly tried to help me, and it worked just fine in just a few minutes.

3rd struggle I’ve always found it very hard to write in my native language, sometimes I get stuck trying to find out what to say, I think sometimes I’m not very creative to do so. Now, I struggle to write in English since I don’t have much practice (both to write posts and to communicate with the people with whom I am working) AND with my creativity. I’ve been facing this struggle since I applied to Outreachy, sometimes I find myself late with some post (I have two not-published drafts because I don’t know how to end them), but I think there is not much I can do to have this solved immediately, but reading in English (specially about what I’m working with, it would give me some ideas of what to write, words to use) and practice writing. This is the worst one, because my whole work in this internship depends on writing very much and very clearly too, communication is very important to make a better job. But I think I’m improving this skill and I hope I do a good job writing.

4th struggle sometimes I feel a little bit lost between the other interns, because my job is different from theirs (at least from what I saw from them). I wish we had more frequent feedbacks because sometimes I feel I’m doing less then I’m supposed to but at the same time I don’t know anything more I could be doing, and I don’t know if I am doing a good job and I am afraid to disappoint the ones who chose me because of that, and I don’t want to bother asking for more. I think this feeling will be better now and I’ll be able to do a big work and help a lot since the tests are starting this week.

5th struggle as the internship started before my classes ended, I had some issues to adjust my schedule to work. Now, I’m facing issues to do so because I’m not used to home office, but I figured out that I work better on mornings and nights, and I’ve been dedicating those periods to Outreachy and it’s working for now.

As far as I remember, those were my struggles since the beginning of the internship. I feel good about sharing them and I hope this helps other interns not to feel alone about theirs as reading others helped me too. =)