This year, the Duchess community embraced a new challenge: working on women’s presence in Open Source while participating in Jenkins during the Hacktoberfest, a yearly event.
Huge congrats to all the contributors! 🥳
Note: This blog is a translation, the source blog post is located here https://www.duchess-france.org/duchess-hacktoberfest-2021/
After a PhD in Computer Science and a few years in Software Development, I specialized in software quality assurance, and particularly in the testing domain. I’m a supporter of the doctrine: “Quality is everyone’s business”. Fond of agility, I’m part of the organization committee of the Agile Tour Bordeaux since 2020.
I also like to engage in sporting challenges: I swam across the Garonne (a big river in the south of France) and finished 2 triathlons. Keeping the best for the end: I’m the mother of two kids who taught me it’s possible to speak about Pokemon with one, while drawing a unicorn with the other.
During my studies, I met quite a lot of “nerds / geeks” contributing to Linux distributions (Gentoo & Debian). Their technical skills seemed higher than mine and the Open Source universe looked inaccessible to me. Concerning Jenkins, I am a user (now contributor) of it, but not an administrator.
I dared to participate thanks to the Duchess (and mainly Angélique, thanks to her). Having the support and backing of the community was my motivation.
From a professional point of view, I perfected my knowledge of Git, and I had a chance to overview part of the quality processes from Open Source projects. My first Pull Request was approved by… 9 people! The fourth reviewer did find an issue. Who can tell me code review isn’t useful now?
From a personal perspective, I remember two things. The first one: Open Source communities are not elitist communities. Every contribution matters, even small ones. The people I met were positive and benevolent. The second one could be illustrated by a quote from Grace Hopper: “If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.”.
After Jenkins, I also submitted Pull Requests to others Open Source projects. The problem: with such a diversity of Open Source projects, how to organize your time?
Coming from a literature training and as a language teacher for more than 15 years, it’s while moving to a high mountain area that a need to explore other skills set in.
Thus, a self-taught training followed by a validated file for financing diploma training followed one another and confirmed to me that life is too short to waste it on what does not make sense to us.
Participating in Open Source appeared to me in that exploratory process like a learning opportunity… which I thought was inaccessible of course! I didn’t see myself writing code.
But thanks to the Duchess France community, I learned how to contribute at my level and to understand the contribution process. It’ll allow me as things progress to contribute in more domains.
Well… In the presentation video for Hacktoberfest, the artwork was mentioned (https://www.jenkins.io/artwork/) and Angélique also mentioned it during the first meeting… And one must admit that looking at it, you can see a lot of different things but women.
So I imagined a governess, very confident, efficient, very clever, scrupulously combed, nicely dressed, who might represent the personality of what Jenkins is made of.
This time I was able to participate through Pull Requests related to translation and drawing. I’ll probably do it again!
I’m a backend developer in Java/Scala, and an active member of Duchess France.
I didn’t really have an opinion about Jenkins before doing the hackathon. Like many other people, I’m a Jenkins user but I didn’t know its source code.
Actually participating in Hacktoberfest. Just bringing a contribution, even modest, on an open source project.
Technically, I discovered how to do MVC with Apache Jelly. I also rediscovered the contribution process of Open Source projects.
The Hacktoberfest mechanism is really well thought out for onboarding people wanting to start working on Open Source projects. With Angélique’s help on top of that to animate sessions on the Duchess France Slack channel, we had the best conditions to contribute to that important project.
It’s not that simple to contribute to a project you’re just discovering, it requires a bit of investment and patience. On Jenkins, the contributors are really reactive and the Pull Requests are quickly reviewed. The feedback is useful and benevolent. There is one Jira project listing all the features and bugs to be worked on for the project. Some tickets are flagged as “newbie” allowing those who are beginners to pick easily and quickly doable tickets.
The framework was intentionally simple and flexible. We started with an online kick start meeting for describing a bit of context, and more precisely the Jenkins universe.
Then, we mainly exchanged through the Duchess Slack channel in an asynchronous way on a dedicated channel, as well as a 30 minutes meeting each Friday during October.