Switch on to OpenStack :)

Posted by Shaifali's Blog on November 16, 2014

For the coming few months I will be working as an OPW intern for OpenStack’s Zaqar component under Flavio Percoco, (flaper87 on IRC). My task is to split control and data planes of Zaqar storage layer completely, brief explanation here.

Exciting..Thrilling..  Exhilarating!. :D


Results are out and internship period is about to start(from 9 Dec), but before this I was an applicant and here sharing experience of that. Yes experience of being an applicant for OpenStack - because it is awesome in itself. I started to work for OPW about a month ago, in October starting and since then I am hacking for it. First I choose 3 organizations whose project ideas were intuitive to me and I was comfortable with the technology stack required, then digging more about different projects for those organizations and interacting with communities, I decided to contribute for OpenStack. (Participants are free to apply for more than one organization.)

Initial Contribution

To turn into an intern from a participant, one needs to submit application(s); and to submit an application participants are suppose to first make some initial contribution for the organization they want to apply. This is really mesmerizing, I never thought I will be able to do that, it sounded very difficult and hard to achieve. Like fixing a bug for such a big OSS, it won’t be easy. That is what I thought earlier. Then I said to myself - “heh wake up!!…… if you will stop before trying, then it will surely result in failure!”. I followed all the instructions and advices mentioned on the OpenStack OPW page, installed OpenStack, choose a bug that I found I could work for and started submitting patches for it . In OpenStack such bugs are tagged as ‘low-hanging-fruits’. Bugs with this tag are left by developers only for newbies, so that they can start easily and get familiar with code, patch submission and reviewing system of OpenStack. No doubt OpenStack community was there to help me at all the points where I stuck. I got chance to interact with many former OPW and GSOC interns at IRC channel #openstack-opw, with the help of whom I submitted patches. WoooW!!!  :) its a victory! I did something which I thought difficult and really hard to do. :D

Keep Digging

After submitting one or two patches even they didn’t merged, I started interacting more with mentors, to understand and learn more about project and how to proceed further for it. OpenStack community is really awesome, they welcome each new contributor with open arms :). Here putting little talk between me and flaper87 which really inspired me and let me to work more:

>flaper87 exploreshaifali: please, do keep digging. The more questions you ask,
      the clearer it will be for you :)
>exploreshaifali flaper87, sure :)
>exploreshaifali Thanks!!
>flaper87 exploreshaifali: thank *you* ;)
>exploreshaifali flaper87, thanking me for what?
>flaper87 exploreshaifali: for your time, interest and perseverance. I
      appreciate you willing to work on this and I thank you for that. I
      look forward to see you around long enough to do way more.

Wow!! I was really stunned, the Mentor is thanking me :-o . And the last line “I look forward to see you around long enough to do way more” is really motivating. It gave me looooots of enthusiasm, zeal and increased my passion and devotion to explore more, work more, learn more.

Submit Application

Discussions with mentor, reading the code of project let me to learn more about project and help in proposing a solution and timeline of the projects for which I was applying. I took help from mentors for this, requested them to review my solutions so that I can make changes if needed, which they did with open arms even being very busy in OpenStack summit and rest of their other stuffs. Meanwhile I started writing application putting all my experience with FOSS and OpenStack both as a user and as a developer, about my past projects and rest all as in the application template; and submit it. :)

Result Time

Hmmm!!!….., Now its time of result. On November 12 UTC 7 result was out and posted here. The down I scroll in the page the faster my heart beats…. scroll down…heart beats faster….page - down down … heart beats - faster and faster. STOP its OpenStack there…… little more down….woohoooo!!! :)

LOOOOL!! :D I did nothing like that ;). I just did Ctrl+f and typed Shaifali Agrawal and yuppppiiieeeee!!!! I could see my name there under OpenStack list without completing my name’s spelling. Haah!!!..

Exciting… Thrilling…  Exhilarating!!… :D

After results are out, I went to my mentor flaper87 and he asked me to first read Mentoring others and yourself. Stunned!!! Motivated looooot more after reading his blog post. :) Also he mentioned that talk in his blog too which I have mentioned above, it is extremely  impelling to me. Wow!! It really feels Super Awesome to have an opportunity to work under such an exquisite mentor. He is rocking indeed and full of fun, helping. Apart from all this he loves mentioning others :).

I am looking forward to work hard, learn a lot and ready to bear all ups and downs that will come across the internship period. No doubt This is just a Start!

TIP for future OPW Interns :

There is of around three weeks time between application submission last date and result announcement. During that period please don’t sit still. I kept lurking on IRC, interacting with developers there and tried to fix another bug because I knew the more I will dig in it the more I will learn. And hey I think you too don’t want to lose three weeks of learning from experts ;).

What I learned till the result announced is to be patient. I am someone who gets excited very soon and also get panic very soon. But the phase of being an applicant for OPW made me to wait and keep patience if things doesn’t work.  Don’t forget - Things will work if you work! ;)

I will take you with me in the whole journey of being an OPW Intern. Stay tuned!!