Early Interest in Coding
I had a strong interest in computers growing up. I used to find it fascinating how computer programs operate because they have such a tremendous impact on their users. This has always motivated me to work in the field of computers.
As I grew up, I was introduced to a broad spectrum of coding languages that enabled us to make the software that we used on the computer. These languages piqued my interest even more. I started exploring and made projects. The more I understood them, the more interesting they got. Slowly I realized that I don’t want to make projects that satisfy just my needs. I want to build something that will be on the internet and will be used by people around the world. With this goal in my mind, I started exploring and hit a gemstone that is open source. I would be working on real-world programming solutions that will be used by people all around the world. This helped me to get started and got me excited about contributing to open source projects.
First PR at Layer5
I still remember the first issue I worked on for Layer5 was the auto labeler on a pull request. I spotted a
good first issue tag and expressed interest in working on it despite not knowing what the task was. The issue required knowledge of GitHub Actions, something I was unaware of at the time. After getting the issue assigned, I started researching what GitHub Actions were. I found out that these actions helped automate workflows to build, test, and deploy software. After getting the basics down, I checked if there were any existing GitHub Actions for the auto labeling of the PR. To my surprise, there were a couple of them.
So before actually making a PR, I experimented with the actions extensively in my private repo. I remember making about 20-25 PR in my private repo to get the auto labeler working fine. After verifying that I got the desired results, I made a PR. I also got to discuss my approach in the Meshery Development Call. I was so nervous at that time since that was the first meeting I attended where I had to make people understand what I did and the strategies I used. I was quite thrilled when my code got merged. I was enthralled to see that my code was working and being useful to the community. This motivated me to make more and more contributions.
A Journey Never to forget
My Layer5 journey began with this small issue. I gradually started learning more about the projects and made some impactful contributions. I started to engage in the community more prominently. With the help of these contributions, I learned new technologies and techniques. Contributing to the codebase gave me so much exposure to React.js, which would not have been possible if I had done it on my own. I took up issues that used React.js and started solving them, and in no time, I was comfortable with it. I am thankful that I didn’t wait for me to learn more about react and then start contributing. I have always applied this principle, learning more by doing actual stuff rather than sitting there and getting stuck in the tutorial loop.
Another new technology I discovered was Jekyll, a static site generator. I was unfamiliar with this technology as well. I started contributing to issues involving Jekyll and slowly understood the basics and how the language works. I was very happy that I was able to make the compatibility matrix, using Jekyll. Even my project for GSoC is written in Jekyll. So, going from not knowing what Jekyll is, to making some big changes, did make me happy.
The community also helped me boost my confidence. The weekly meetings are responsible for this. The way the meetings required me to explain my fixes and give updates regarding the issues I was working on, helped me get vocal and comfortable with talking to various people.
I am excited to be accepted as a Google Summer of Code Intern for this Summer of 2022. I am looking forward to contributing more and making an impact here. The project assigned to me is to create a dashboard on SMP Website. Results from the CNCF Cluster labs will be displayed here graphically. I wish to learn more about cloud native technologies and make contributions on the backend too. I also want to state that this will not be the end. I will be engaged with this community as long as I can and will try to give back as much as I can.
Appreciation for the Community
Finally, I would like to thank the Layer5 Community for always being so supportive whenever I needed it. I took away a very significant lesson from this experience, there is always something to learn, and there is no harm in asking questions if you don't know the answer. It’s kinda hard to find such a welcoming community. There was not a day that I felt completely lost here, and that is what I adore about this community.
Keep Meshing. Thank you.
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