Outreachy organizer admin tasks:
- Announce the accepted Outreachy interns
- Handle situations where interns were unable to accept the internship
- Update the intern contract dates (we need to automate this in the website code!)
- Send signed intern contracts to Conservancy
- Send an invoice request to Conservancy for Outreachy sponsors
- Follow all interns on Twitter, retweet their first blog posts if @outreachy is tagged
- Run the first intern Q&A session
- Add website code to allow mentors to invite co-mentors and have co-mentors sign the mentorship agreement for any selected interns
- Create page for organizers to see contact info for mentors who selected an intern (so we can easily subscribe them to the mentor mailing list)
Outreachy at PyCon U.S. Sprints
We successfully tested the Outreachy website developer’s documentation at the PyCon U.S. sprints. This is the first step towards limiting the “bus factor” and ensuring that many people can work on the Outreachy website.
13 people participated in the sprints. Most were running Linux, but there was one Windows user who successfully followed our installation guide and successfully made their first contribution.
Half of the participants were unfamiliar with the Django web development framework that the Outreachy website uses. There were several people who had never made a contribution to free software before. We’re proud that they could make their first impact on the free software world with Outreachy!
Overall, 8 pull requests were merged, with 7 more pull requests waiting for review. The pull requests included improvements like clarifying our documentation, clarifying application questions, ensuring links on our opportunities page were valid, and improving the layout of our pages for past rounds.
Blog Post Prompts
During the Outreachy internship, interns are required to blog every two weeks. The Outreachy organizers found that interns often didn’t know what to blog about, so we started creating a series of blog post prompts. The prompts are highly relevant to the intern experience as the internship progresses.
Our first blog post prompts normalize the fact that all interns struggle during the first few weeks. The mid-point blog post prompt asks interns to reflect on their original project timeline, and how unexpected complexity means projects often have to be scaled back. We wanted to do a full series of blog post prompts last round, but we ran out of time before the next application period kicked off.
This round, we’re finishing out the last two blog post prompts for weeks 9 and 11 of the internship. They will focus on the next steps after the Outreachy internship, namely how interns can start a career in tech or free software.
The week 9 blog post prompt is for interns to write about what direction they would like to take their career. Some Outreachy interns are still in school, so we ask them to provide what time frame they want to take their next steps in.
The week 11 email will prompt the interns to work on their resumes, and then post them on their blog.
Outreachy organizers are also in discussions with some contractors who may be able to provide some career advice to Outreachy interns. We’ve long wanted to provide more career services to interns, but haven’t been able to allocate organizer time to this. We’re still in negotiations, but we hope this round we can finally offer this.