So, my Outreachy internship is coming to an end and I'm not sure I can fully express all the emotions I have around that. On one hand I'm ready and excited to continue moving forward in my journey, but on the other hand I'm going to miss working daily with the Pontoon team.
The beautiful thing is that since its an Open Source project I won't have to say goodbye entirely. Which makes me very happy, because after spending months working on this feature and learning the code base it would be a shame not to see my feature to its completion. While I was able to finish the majority of the functionality there are still a few things that need to be done, and I'm glad that I'll be able to finish them.
Overall, this experience has been one of the best I've ever had the opportunity to be a part of. It has provided me with so much growth both professionally and personally that I'm not sure I can thank those who made it possible enough.
One of the biggest areas of growth that I had through my internship was my overall confidence. Working on Being able to figure out so many of the challenges I faced from setting up my local environment to tackling the many, many times I got stuck while working on a problem has shown me that I'm capable of more than I would have given myself credit for. Don't get me wrong I had to turn to my mentors often for guidance on getting past issues, but there were also plenty of times when the time difference between us forced me to keep digging on my own. Those moments helped me fine-tune my searching skills and empowered me to try to work out more and more on my own before asking for help.
I also noticed that in the last few weeks I was able to start working on the next steps to my feature much quicker as I had a better understanding of the overall flow the code needed to have. That was a really good feeling and so different from when I first started and I had to intentionally slow my thoughts and take small bites of the problem to keep from getting overwhelmed.
Seeing this growth in my skills really helped as I began looking for a full-time position. Even though I panicked a little when I first started to consider the job hunt, I ended up reflecting on all that I'd accomplished during my Outreachy internship and was then able to begin that process with more confidence. Of course, having my mentors there to cheer me on and encourage me helped a lot too.
I'm happy to report that it all paid off as I was successful in my job search and will start my first full-time developer job shortly after my internship officially ends. It feels really good to know that I will be able to continue coding on a full-time basis for a great company.
While I didn't take the most traditional path to get to this point I'm so very grateful to be here. Here's to the beginning of the next phase of my journey...