My tryst with coala: The beginning
We had our mid-semester exams till the end of the first week of March. Post-midterms, most of my friends went on trips to Goa, Kasol…even my parents went to a marriage in Agra, and I was left alone at home. With lots of work already pending, I decided to take on this new task. I always felt fascinated by open-source but never actually was able to contribute much to it.
This year organisations were announced on 10th March, so I started searching for one that suits my technical proficiency and something that can be actually useful for me.
While searching, coala took my attention; coala is a language-independent code analysis tool that provides a CLI interface for linking and fixing the code, regardless of the programming language.
Also, in my college, I had heard a lot about GSoC from my seniors during my first year, so I wanted to give it a try and decided I’ll drop it in a week if things didn’t work.
During my first year, when I worked on different projects for our club with my seniors, I was always pulled out for the bad coding practices I followed. Therefore, coala is a perfect tool as it supports almost all the languages and automatically fixes the code to make it consistent with the language specifications!
So, the journey began; first I started by running coala locally on some of the example code and then looked for an issue to start contributing. I finally fixed the broken CI/CD pipeline in around a week after many failed attempts. And followed it by solving a few more issues in the next couple of days. This was a huge boost to my confidence, I don’t usually dwell on things like these, but this gave me a sense of achievement that I literally have this mentioned as a note on my phone “GSoC 2021 @ coala 24th March Wed 2021”.
After this, I explored coala a little more and opened a few newcomer-friendly issues by the end of March. Following that, I started to work on the proposal as I had less than just 2 weeks for its submission. In those 2 weeks, I focussed on my proposal and got it reviewed twice by my mentor Abhinav, none of this would have been possible without his support. His help in getting me involved with the coala community and his enriching feedback enabled me to improve my proposal. coala suggests mentees submit two proposals to have some flexibility while selecting the students, but I didn’t spend much time on the second proposal and made it in the last 4 hours before the deadline.
Post submission, I had a lot of work to catch up on. With my comprehensive exams coming by, I focused more on my studies and was only involved in reviewing PR and helping others get involved, which I’d say helped calm the anxiety (just a little)!
Results were to be announced on 17th May at .11:30 pm. I was eagerly waiting for the results and kept myself distracted to ease my nerves. I received a message from my friend about GSoC announcing its list of accepted proposals at around 11:10, followed by me quickly opening Gmail on my phone and tapping refresh after a few baited breaths, and so, there it was!
The amount of time that I’ve put specifically into this may seem very less, but behind this acceptance letter lies the skills I honed and acquired during the 2020 Lockdown paid. I started from the foundation of proficiency in the technologies used by my organisation since I had spent hours and hours working with them, after which one can say that it took me just a bit to get started on coala. You can learn more about my project and can also have a look at my proposal.
I’ll keep writing these short posts throughout my GSoC journey mainly because of the organisation guidelines 😅. But I will be keeping them short since I’m not very good at journaling journeys:).
PS: You can contact me on Linkedin, Mail, or Twitter if you want to seek help in your GSoC journey or help me with internship opportunities or referrals. Also, follow me on GitHub to understand the work I do at coala and explore through some other project ideas!