2019-12 & 2020-01: Outreachy Progress

December 2019

December is a historically slow month for Outreachy. Organizer this month included:

  • Sending invoice requests
  • Getting intern contact information to the Software Freedom Conservancy (for payment & tax information)
  • Handling a situation with one ineligible intern
  • Handling a situation with an unresponsive mentor
  • Facilitating intern chats

Website Improvements

There’s some coding work on a branch for improvements to the Outreachy website. We’ve had applicants who have accepted a full-time job between the time they fill out their initial application with time commitments, and when they fill out a final application. If they accept a full-time job, they’re not eligible for the internship.

The draft website work updates the initial application acceptance email to note that applicants should tell organizers if their time commitments have changed. The email also says that applicants who have accepted a full-time job are not eligible for the internship. The website work also adds a new field to the final application for applicants to update their time commitment information. If an applicant fills out that field, a warning flag is displayed on the organizer dashboard.

The draft work will need to be merged by March 5, when applicants are notified of initial application acceptance. That’s also the earliest time applicants can start filling out final applications.

January 2020

The first month of the year starts the internship cycle again at the top. January is all about pinging organizations to get them involved again. Organizer duties included:

  • Reviewing new communities who want to participate to ensure they meet our community eligibility guidelines
  • Finding sponsorship and discussing which communities sponsors want to fund
  • Pinging our list of potential communities to ensure they understand the deadline to submit a community to participate and the deadline for mentors to submit projects
  • Adding people who signed up for the mailing list at the Outreachy booth in Tapia. Some people indicate they’re only interested in May to August internships (which is when students in the northern hemisphere are eligible). We sign them up for the announcement mailing list after all the mail about the December to March round has finished. Sometimes we send them a private email encouraging them to apply to Outreachy or spread the word.
  • Promoting the opening of the initial application period on Twitter and the announcement mailing list
  • Adding approved coordinators and mentors to the mentor mailing list and Zulip Outreachy chat
  • Reviewing initial applications

Of course, that happens at the same time as supporting the December to March interns:

  • Running more intern chats
  • Reviewing initial feedback
  • Facilitating communication between mentors & interns in cases where issues arise during the internship

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