Applying to Outreachy

Sep 12, 2020

Here are the highlights of today's discussion

  1. How to get started with Outreachy
  2. Submitting an Initial Application 3. Finding the right organization and
  3. How to contribute to an organization open source project

How to Get Started with Outreachy

Like most of you already know Outreachy provides internships to work in open source and free software. Outreachy internships are open to applicants around the world. Interns work remotely, and are not required to move. Interns are paid a stipend of $5,500 USD for the three month internship. Interns have a $500 USD travel stipend to attend conferences or events.

If you go through no.1 that will give you a detailed guide on what you need to know about outreachy as provided in the Outreachy website

  1. Submitting an Initial Application

The outreachy application process can be broken down into 3 stages : i. Initial Application ii. Contribution Stage iii. Internship The initial application stage requires that you provide answers to some essay questions. Some of these can be confusing as I keep getting similar questions from applicants. And the way you answer the questions at this stage matters. This will determine whether you will pass stage 1. Here are some of the ways I would recommend you answer the questions to increase your chances of been selected;

  • First you must be 18 years of age to apply, you must be willing to commit 40 hours per week. (Consider it as a full time job :( )
  • State that you are eligible to work 40hours per week and you don't have a visa that limits your ability to work 40hours per week(The number of hours you are willing to commit matters) -If you have been paid before to contribute to open source then you don't stand a chance(This automatically disqualifies you)
  • The part where you are asked if you have contributed to any open source project before. You stand a chance if you say yes(But if you have not its time to start contribtuing, find any project and contribute to gain some experience)
  • Essay question on under-represented and systematic bias in acquiring technical skills. This should be answered as it applies to you. You need to pour your heart:heart:. Let Outreachy know what qualifies you as been under-represented. If you have been denied opportunities before or discriminated before in your tech journey here is the place to put it down. The story has to be touchy enough but truthful.:grin:
  1. Finding the right organization

After you have submitted an Initial Application next step is to search for the organization you would like to contribute to. Your choice of the organization should not be driven by the popularity of the Organization "Big name". But it should be driven by the available project they have submitted to Outreachy and the stack required to intern with them.

In as much as you are interested in the Big companies check the projects they have submitted to Outreachy and ask yourself if the skills required to carryout the project matches your skill set.

Different companies submit their open source projects to Outreachy and each of these projects have some required skill set from scale of 1-5. Where you see Javascript required skill level 5, Python skill level 2, HTML 5 required skill level 2.

This simply means that you need to be Good with Javascript and requires that you know something about Python and little experience of HTML and CSS.

Same goes for Documentation, Marketing and Design Projects Scale could be English required skill 5, HTML& CSS required skill 2, Git required skill 2 etc.

In other words you need to have some skill set to be able to find a project that you can contribute to. Just ask yourself what your strength. Any area you know you are very good at, just find a project that matches your skill.

Irrespective of the company you contribute to, Outreachy are your direct employers and they will pay you the same thing as long as it's a project listed in Outreachy.

  1. Internship
  • The internship is for a period of 3 months and this will happen after you have successfully passed the contribution phase. :grin:


Initial Application Selection tip:

  • Have a good application(Questions carefully and properly answered)
  • Have a good Portfolio, personal blog, social media(twitter), previous volunteer engagement (These can work in your favour) Contribution Selection Tip: -Contribute as much as you can to a project -Make quality contributions -Have a good communication relationship with your mentor Internship Selection Tip
  • Maximize the three months internship because if they notice you are not contributing as you should Outreachy will assume you are not working up to 40hrs and that can affect you pay and can also result to extension of the internship period. Worst case you can be stop at any time before the internship and you wont get your pay if you are not active on the project
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