Our IntoxiCODED cloudy summer

Posted on by Codeaholics

Categories: blog and student posts

Time seems to fly by so fast when you are a student of Rails Girls Summer of Code and a contributor of a project you love. We can’t believe these are the last days of RGSoC!

Challenges

Some of the challenges that our team has faced during this period:

  • First of all, installing the Nextcloud server locally was not as easy for us as we first assumed.
  • Before attending RGSoC we barely had any experience with Git on an important open source project as Nextcloud with a lot of people contributing into it. During our journey we made many mistakes and had to do some researches on different Git commands. Thanks to the friendly community over at Nextcloud, we learned many new Git commands, now it’s just a matter of remembering them :)
  • We fought a lot with JavaScript and in particular AngularJS. We wanted to work on something new for us and that’s why we chose the Contacts App. We were complete beginners on AngularJS and during the first weeks we were mainly focused on reading and watching tutorials.
  • Another challenging thing was working remotely together over different time-zones (6 hours difference) as Jona was attending “Flock to Fedora Conference” in Boston.

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Too much AngularJS, not enough coffee. (Photo: Jona & Xheni, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.)

Things we have learned

Despite the challenges we had during our summer, we have learned a lot of new things. Here are some of the things we can recall:

  • Pair programming, a very good way to keep each other on task. Brainstorming helps a lot when you work as a team. Don’t forget that two brains are better than one.
  • AngularJS concepts: we learned about controllers, services, promises, filters and much more.
  • JavaScript is the world’s most misunderstood programming language but we understand it better now :).
  • We learned about vCard format specification.
  • New Git Commands that were really useful for our daily job.
  • Asking for help because the communication is the key to solve some of the issues! There are always people out there willing to help, especially on the Nextcloud IRC channels.

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Pair Programming at Open Labs Hackerspace. (Photo: Jona & Xheni, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.)

Nextcloud contributions

There is an albanian idiom “-Fillimi i mbarë, gjysma e punës” (English equivalent: Well begun, is half done), therefore we created our first PR on our first week and we began contributing on Nextcloud by fixing some starter issues, opening new issues, testing and reviewing etc.

Nowadays we are mainly focused on developing a new feature: “favorite contacts”, allowing users to quickly favourite some of their contacts. We are confident to have this feature finished by the end of the summer.

What will be next? We certainly will continue contributing on other Nextcloud apps, even after the summer ends because we really love the vibe that this community has and the friendly environment.

Girl Power at the Nextcloud conference!

One of the best things about working on the open source projects are the conferences. Codeaholics joined the Nextcloud Conference on 22-29 August in Berlin, Germany. We were the early birds who arrived in the morning on the first day, waiting for other contributors to join the conference.

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Team Codeaholics at Nextcloud Conference. (Photo: Christoph Wurst, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.)

Finally, we had the chance to meet our coaches Morris and Joas in person, our mentor joined us as well. We had four amazing days full of hacking and working on specific tasks on Nextcloud. It’s very helpful when you have your coaches nearby so you can directly ask them and clarify in case of any doubts. In addition to meeting our coaches we also met many other contributors during our stay in Berlin. Fun fact: We knew most of them already by their GitHub usernames, that’s why the first question we asked them was their github username. ;)

We attended some talks related to the collaboration between Red Hat and Nextcloud, Collabora Online, how the Technical University of Berlin uses Nextcloud, Scalability Recommendations, Security etc.

On the weekend, there were some lightning talks and workshops where we also shared our experience as RGSoC students with them (a lot of applauses in the end, yaaay)! It was a wonderful conference and a great opportunity to network with the community behind Nextcloud, which makes you feel more motivated to keep contributing. And just for the record, coding while drinking Club Mate is one of the best feelings ever. (Try it :P)

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Nextcloud Conference. (Photo:Raghu Nayyar, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.)

During our stay in Berlin we attended the “Open Source Ladies” event together with Jan, which is an event that aims to help women contribute to open source projects and guide them how to join their communities. It was very nice to meet some new enthusiastic Open Source Ladies from Berlin and share our experiences.

What will we miss most

Now that RGSoC is ending, we will miss a lot:

  • Our weekly meeting calls with our supervisor, mentor and coaches. It has been a pleasure working with all of them. By the way: Even though all of them were German and we have heard stories that Germans are very strict or that is very difficult to work with them we are very happy to admit that it is NOT true! Each wednesday that we have our weekly call, we were very happy to talk with them and hear their feedback because it was really helpful for us, that’s why this is one of the things we will miss most! (Thank you guys :D)
  • Status updates, because they helped us keep track of what we achieved and to set goals for our team.
  • Being able to focus full-time on open-source development and community building.

All in All…

It was a never-to-be-forgotten summer - one of those summers that leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going. Is it the end? Definitely NO, our journey does not end here. We are both open source enthusiasts and the gained experience we had this summer has inspired us even more to continue contributing to coding part of open source projects.

Thanks RGSoC for this amazing experience we had during this summer, we are happy to be one of the RGSoC alumni now and share our journey with other people!

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