It all started with my curiosity to find an open-source project with open issues with DevOps and CI/CD labels on them. While I was searching that on GitHub, I found Meshery, one of the projects at Layer5. I started going through the README, and it just felt like that is it. It integrates with all kinds of technologies that I ever wanted to learn and explore. Then I jumped onto their slack and got even more excited by the enthusiasm and energy of each community members welcoming me in the newcomers channel. I started attending all the community meetings and learned about the project through the demos/updates from fellow contributors. Slowly and gradually, I started contributing too, then delivering updates in the community calls, and consequently started climbing the contributor ladder.
When I realised that I would be working on Meshery Cloud and Meshery as an LFX intern at Layer5, then I couldn't control my excitement. That excitement was to ship more impactful features for the Layer5 projects, work and engage more deeply with the engineering team at Layer5 and have an overall upliftment of my development skills. Throughout my internship I worked on several features. Few on the top of the list are as follows, expanding Meshery extension points, exposing node details of the K8s clusters on which Meshery runs performance tests, supporting Cilium service mesh adapter with Meshery, persisting MeshMap user preferences with Meshery Cloud, migrating Meshery Cloud UI to NextJS, support for user profile on Meshery Cloud and exposing performance profiles (generated from Meshery performance tests that run on CNCF hosted runners through meshery-smp-action) through a public facing API.
In terms of the learning curve, I learned so much that the knowledge I gained in the past three months overpowers the education I received in the last two years of college, if we put in context the applicability of each of the learnings in the software industry. I learned and applied the tech stack from Golang, GraphQL, and NextJS to Postgres, SQL, and GoBuffalo to GitHub actions. I got introduced to the topics like performance engineering, service meshes, networking, and several cloud-native tool. While at the same time, I met several experienced developers who are very involved in the communities which revolve around these realms.
One of the major realizations I got through this internship was that it is okay to make mistakes. There were a few instances where I made mistakes. For instance, once I forgot to add pagination in an SQL query which depressed the whole production instance of Meshery Cloud, which means no one would be able to log into Meshery until that gets fixed. Or once I unknowingly used an incorrect default SSH port in a workflow that failed a GitHub action responsible for pushing the latest Meshery Cloud image to Docker Hub and then updating the deployment in AWS VM. But that was okay, and no one got mad at me, but rather I have always received constructive feedback. I did learn from each mistake and made sure that I dont repeat it because that is all that matters.
I had a great time as an intern @ Layer5. Each day brought new challenges and a desire to raise PRs with great features. I not only learned how to fix bugs but also learned how to avoid them in the first place. I not only learned hard skills but also learned soft skills. I not only learned the meaning of self-reliance but also learned the true meaning of team spirit. All in all, that was one of the most exquisite experiences I have ever had and ofcourse, the best internship experience (considering it was my first internship ever!).
I will be engaged in this community and will keep contributing to Layer5 projects as much as possible.