Application deadline is October 30

The Outreachy application deadline is a little under three weeks away.  During the application period, potential interns make contributions to one or more projects that an Outreachy mentor has proposed.  We find that it takes applicants at least two weeks to make a contribution, so it's important to pick one ASAP.

But which one?

Cherry Tomatoes CC-BY Dwight Sipler (modified)

Cherry Tomatoes CC BY Dwight Sipler

So many choices...

The Outreachy project list has over 40 projects on it. It can be overwhelming to go through a list that big! Here's our tips for finding the project that fits you the best.

Know Yourself

In order to pick a project that fits you, first brainstorm a list of skills you have, or skills you want to learn. Although the Outreachy project list doesn't have a search function (yet!) you can use your browser's 'Find' functionality to search within the project list for those skills.

Outreachy mentors have listed which skills are needed for applicants to have before they start working on a contribution. If a skill is required, you should know it before you start making a contribution to that project.

Some skills are 'preferred' meaning mentors would prefer applicants to have that skill, but they're happy to accept applicants who don't have that skill. Some skills are "nice to have" meaning it would be great if applicants have this skill, but if you didn't have that skill, it would be no big deal.

If you're excited about a project, but don't have the preferred or optional skills, we encourage you to try contributing anyway! Making a contribution to a project, whether it's a small documentation change or a bug fix, will help you learn the skills need. At worst, you'll have learned more about yourself, and at best you'll have a contribution to an open source project to showcase on your resume.

If you think you'll need to stretch your skills a little, I encourage you give the project a try! You never know whether you'll like a project until you try talking with the project mentors and making a contribution to it.

Cherry Samples CC BY  Ian Sane

Cherries CC BY Ian Sane

How many projects should I try?

Here's the words of a former Outreachy intern about how many projects to pick:

"Narrow down your project choices to two at the most... The reason you need to focus on a few projects is that this will enable you to concentrate on being a great candidate for that project. It means you will spend more time understanding the project, communicating with the mentors, and in turn making significant contributions to the project — as opposed to being everywhere and achieving half-baked progress on many projects."

-- Joannah Nanjekye, Outreachy intern with Ceph, May 2017 to August 2017

How do I narrow it down?

Often times, interns find that many projects that look interesting to them. It's important to choose a project or a community that has a mission or challenge that makes you excited:

"You should choose a project for which you have deep passion. Else after sometime that project will become a burden on you and you will no more enjoy working on it. So it is very important to find a project that looks interesting, exciting and amusing to you."

-- Shaifali Agrawal, Outreachy intern with OpenStack, December 2014 to March 2015

Each Outreachy community has a statement about who their project serves.  You should find a project or community that has a mission statement that resonates with you.

Maybe you're passionate about healthcare for everyone, and want to join a project like LibreHealth or mUzima. Maybe you care about the environment, and want to contribute to Public Lab. If you're passionate about open data science, you might want to help out JupyterHub. Maybe you're really into making knowledge accessible for everyone, and you want to contribute to Wikipedia. If you're interested in biology, you could check out the Open Bioinformatics Foundation.

Shiny Technology

Sometimes people are passionate about technology as well. If you're interested in cloud computing, you might want to check out Ceph, CNCF Tracing, Gluster, or OpenStack. If you're passionate about Linux, you should take a look at Debian, Fedora, GNOME, GNU Guix, or the Linux kernel. There's also projects for Git!

There's a lot of web development projects this round. Most are under Mozilla, but there's a few in other communities:

Amazing Documentation Projects

We also have documentation projects for people who want to combine their excitement to learn about technology with their passion for writing or making videos:

I'm still not sure...

If you're still not sure which project you want to choose, send a list of your skills, and the projects you're considering to the Outreachy mentors mailing list. We're happy to help you narrow down your list of interesting project down to one or two projects to contribute to!