Team l1ghtsab3r signing off...

Posted on by Srishti Sengupta and Soumya Sharma

Categories: blog and student posts

We can’t believe it’s over! Saying that this was the greatest summer of our lives would be an understatement. When we first applied for RGSoC, we never thought we’d get this far. But we made it till the end, and we are very proud of ourselves and all the amazing teams who were a part of Rails Girls Summer of Code this year!

What we achieved over the summer

We still remember how we looked for each other and our coaches. All the frantic searching for coaches, selecting a project, understanding it, making our first contribution to it, writing the application, re-reading it a million times! It was one hell of a journey, and an amazing one at that.

Team l1ghtsab3rOur initial madness! Finding each other and our project <3 (Credits: Screenshots taken by Team l1ghtsab3r)

We believe we achieved a great deal over the summer. Russell, our mentor sent us a list of issues we could tackle over our summer of code. We accomplished several tasks from that! We started off by completing quite a few operator implementations. These issues were the most basic ones, and gave us a good understanding of the vast codebase that VOC has. After this, we went on to implement methods on standard types. Both these topics were relatively easy and helped us to wade through the codebase and understand it better. After getting through with these issues, we wanted to do something more challenging. Hence began our journey on implementing a stubbed out datatype - Complex! This took us quite a while, diving deep into the bytecode of VOC. We learned a lot, not just about VOC, but about the internals of Python, and about bytecode too. After we were done with that (phew!), we also worked on supporting a linguistic structure in the VOC compiler. This meant working out how to parse language structures like for/else in Python bytecode, and then generating the equivalent Java opcodes.

Team l1ghtsab3rOut on Srishti's birthday! (Credits: Our dear friend, Shivam Chatuvedi. Fun fact: He taught us Python 3 years back. We probably wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for him)

What we hope to do ahead

The summer may be over, but our journey with VOC isn’t over yet! Both of us find this project really interesting and it’s very close to our hearts <3 We want to keep contributing to this project, and want others in our community to do so as well. Currently, we are working on a few larger issues which would take some time and both of us are really enjoying getting our hands dirty with VOC.

Team l1ghtsab3rA picture from the hacknight we organised in our college (Credits: Byld, The Software Development Club, IIIT-D)

We recently organised a “hacknight” in our college campus, for which the theme was “Contributing to opensource software”. Taneea and Vrinda from Team Twiches were also co-organisers. It was a fun session where we taught Git and introduced our opensource projects to the attendees. All of them were very excited to get started on the projects and we feel really happy to be bringing more people into opensource.

Our experience

Team l1ghtsab3rL to R: Naman, Srishti, Sambhav and Soumya at PyCon, India (Credits: Soumya taking a selfie!)

I don’t think we can sum up our experience in a few words, but we’ll still give it a try. Rails Girls Summer of Code has been one hell of a roller coaster ride. We cannot believe how much we’ve learned over the past three months. We aren’t just better programmers now, but have grown as people as well! Interacting with all the diverse teams across the world was truly a life-changing experience, one we will always cherish. Apart from learning, we’ve not just contributed to VOC, but have also received the Google Anita Borg Scholarship together, attended PyCon India and even submitted a patch to CPython! If three months back someone had told us that we’d be able to achieve all this (along with handling univ work), we would probably have laughed it off. We didn’t even know we were capable of all this! Last three months have been the best three months of our life, where we learned how to work with a team (remotely!!) and juggling a million tasks together.

People who made it possible

We couldn’t have made it till the end without all the amazing people involved in our journey. We wish that we can meet each one of you some day. RGSoC has been the way it is, all because of you.

  • Russell Keith-Magee

This wouldn’t have been possible without you. You have been truly supportive of us all along! We couldn’t have asked for anything more from a mentor. Both of us just wish that we could hop onto a plane to Australia to meet you! Every time we came to you with a question, you were always there, ready to help. No matter how silly the question was. You’ve guided us and supported us every step of the way, thank you for that :)

  • Natalie Volk

We loved talking to you on Tuesday nights :D and miss every bit of it now. You kept us motivated all along and gave us really awesome advice on how to proceed with issues and managing time.

  • Maria and the RGSoC orga

Maria, thank you for letting us know about all the awesome conferences <3 You were also our supervisor for a short period of time when Natalie went on her vacation. It was amazing to get to know you. Ana, thank you for that beautiful video, it literally brought tears to our eyes :’) RGSoC orga, thank you for having this summer of code for women. Both of us hope that we too can inspire other women some day the way you have.

  • Our amazing coaches - Chiang, Manish, Anuvrat, Naman and Sambhav

You were always there, literally! Whenever we were stuck and need help, one of you was there to help us out of the mess. All we had to do was ping you, and you stopped everything you were doing and made us your priority. Without you, we would probably STILL be stuck at our first task. Thank you for pushing us to do things and to achieve all we’ve achieved. Even when we were extremely bogged down, a simple reply from any of you, telling us what direction to proceed in, how to solve our problem was enough to get us adrenaline pumped and raring to go again.

  • Other wonderful teams!

Thanks to all the amazing teams out there who were also our support system. We learned so much from you all, more than we ever could have imagined :D

Our key learnings and advice to RGSoC ‘17 aspirants

  • Communication is the key. Never hesitate to ask questions to your mentor, coaches or supervisor. They are all there for you. Remember, no question is a silly question!

  • Once you’ve learned something, make sure you help another person out. Team l1ghtsab3rDiversify Tech! B) (Credits: Giphy)

  • You can do it, don’t ever think that it’s not the right time, because it IS. There will always be that little voice in your head which will tell you that you’re probably not ready for this. You know what, chuck that voice. ;) Go ahead and be awesome! Team l1ghtsab3r Just listen to the penguin (Credits: Giphy)

  • We love the party parrot <3 Team l1ghtsab3r Party Parrot ROCKS!!! (Credits: Giphy)