Google Code In is a contest run by Google for teenagers (13-17) to promote contributing to open source projects. It is like Google Summer Of Code, but for teenagers who are not in colleges.
This is my 4th time in Code In and it was fantastic just like before. Here’s a summary :
This year (2016), I chose Wikimedia again ! It’s nice to contribute to various FOSS projects. Even a small help to FOSS projects is a big deal.
Joy of First Commit
My first commit was replacing Linker::link() usages with LinkRenderer in the mediawiki core. It was simple, but a little complicated since it was my first. The task was to do it in 5 special pages, but I did 10. I had to make 6 patches to make it perfect.
The joy of the first commit to a project that powers up Wikipedia and thousands of other wiki sites is so much. I still remember that feeling I had in me. The commits after didn’t evoke that much feeling.
I did 16 tasks. Never wanted to do tasks speedily, because I don’t wanna mess anything up by going too fast. The idea is to be smooth, steady and being calm.
It’s not about how many you did, but the quality of how you did
The last task I did was pretty hard, but it’s gonna help a lot of newcomers. I had a fever during the task which made me not use the computer. Funny thing, a good night’s sleep cured me. Didn’t even needed to take any medicine.
Apart from programming, another hobby I had since 11 was making videos. There’s some really embarrassing videos I made in the early days. If you want to feel cringe, see those.
For Wikimedia, I made some tutorials on using Phabricator. I used my phone to record the audio and Kazam for screencast. For editing, I used Kdenlive and Audacity. All these softwares are very awesome and make the FOSS community proud.
I hope these tutorials I made will help the people who come in the future.
I would like to say a thousand thanks to all the mentors who were in this year. What makes kids like me continue a work is appreciation and what the community did is give them a lot.
The appreciations they gave really helped me. I could only work with a few of mentors, but I’m sure everyone is supportive.
What I Learnt
The biggest thing I learnt is how development of a big software work. Many people contribute to MediaWiki a day and managing all those works trough Phabricator and gerrit is amazing.
I have a lot of open source projects, but none of them is very much active like MediaWiki. Working in their environment helps me to be prepared when a project of mine explodes.
I also learnt how important documentation is. If it weren’t for those beautifully documented functions, I wouldn’t be able to make even a single change.
Another thing I learnt is the coding standards and how code can be made beautiful to see.
My future FOSS projects will absolutely be influenced by my experience with MediaWiki.