On-Boarding Experience with XSF (Converse)

Hi, I am PawBud. I will be working as a GSoC Contributor with XSF. To know more about my project kindly read this blog. Feel free to contact me through my email to ask me anything you want!

Before I start, I feel that some things that I am going to write in this blog might offend someone. Kindly note that these thoughts are my own. Once again you are free to contact me through my email if you have anything to say, I would be happy to hear your thoughts.

On-Boarding Experience with XSF & Community Bonding Period

Well, I must say, this is unlike any technical internship that you will experience. The level of attention and support that you will get from the organization admins and your project mentors from day 1 is genuinely surprising. I mean, I started having weekly calls with my mentor before the coding period even began, and I am still quite thankful that my mentor(s) spent their time to guide me. Believe it or not, as soon as the results were announced and I saw my name, my first reaction was “oops, well this is bad”. I wasn’t ready for it! Meeting JC (my primary mentor) definitely helped me a lot during the community bonding period. Turns out not everyone does feel the same (thanks to Patiga, I knew about this). Still, from my past experience in internships, I do believe that self-doubt is something that our present-day society profits from, and it is something that one can’t afford if one wants to improve.

I wanted to spend as much time with the source code as I could but my university exams did not allow me to do so. I managed to work on some minor issues though, but I still feel that I need to put in as much work as I can. As of writing this blog, it’s the second week of GSoC. I have to work on designing and implementing a UI for the jingle call modal and will hopefully be done with that and the tests, by the end of this week.

Why Choose GSoC & specifically XSF?

Ok, this is an interesting one, I still remember the special treatment I received from the whole community once the GSoC results were announced. I think Eddie instantly shared the results with the community through the XSF GSoC group chat, Twitter and a couple of other XSF social media pages. I genuinely feel pampered by the overwhelming support of the community, but I am so proud that I chose GSoC over a usual company internship.

I took a course on software engineering during my sophomore year, and until now I have never ever seen/experienced its concepts being implemented. In Converse, I learned more about the applications of test-driven software development in 2 weeks than I ever did during my whole semester. Turns out, that practising a technique is actually the best way to learn it. The fact that my mentor takes out his time which he could very easily spend on developing Converse, just to guide me through the smallest of obstructions, is what really makes this whole thing special. No manager or supervisor in any company is going to give you this kind of attention! Period.

There is this book called Zucked by Roger McNamee. For those of you who haven’t read it here is a gist:- Roger was one of the initial investors of Facebook and a mentor to Mark Zuckerberg. Throughout the book, he explains how Facebook turned into an evil giant, and how the guilt he feels that he could not stop Zuckerberg and Facebook from pivoting to its present-day state. My hate for social media giants like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, started after I graduated from Secondary School, this was because I started watching a lot of technology-related youtube channels and understood how toxic these social media giants actually are and how they exploit human psychology by giving instant gratification, and blah blah blah. I must say, I was infuriated and disgusted that all this time, I was just a product of these social media giants.

That mentality has grown stronger over the years and yes, I am not on any social media except Reddit, which I occasionally use to text my friends. Hence, XSF was a no-brainer for me, plus I wanted to learn Javascript well, so I only submitted one proposal, which was for Converse.

This was a personal and a non-technical blog post. To be honest, I am still figuring out how to write blogs, as this is my first blog post. I think I will start writing more technical and project-related blog posts after this.


In conclusion, I would like to thank my Mentors (JC & Vanitas), Eddie (XSF GSoC Admin), Patiga (Co-contributor for XSF) and the whole XSF community for putting their trust in me. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Zerefwayne & Yash Rathore for guiding me in the journey leading up to me getting selected as a contributor for XSF. I look forward to learning from all of you henceforth the GSoC period is finished.

For those of you who could not make it to GSoC with any organization including XSF

Remember, open source is not GSoC. I would honestly still contribute to various organizations, had I not gotten selected to GSoC, because it’s fun! Imagine writing code that is used by potentially millions of users daily. All those late-night hotfixes and mistakes that you do, do become good memories and of course, you get to learn a lot. The open source community is so friendly, that I have yet to see organizations that have core contributors who do not support newcomers.

GSoC should be a side goal in my opinion. If you get selected, that’s good for you. If you don’t get selected, you haven’t lost anything, you simply gain knowledge and contributions.