My internship is coming to an end

“There is never enough time to enjoy what you love.”
― Joyce Rachelle

It’s amazing how time flies! I can’t believe 12 weeks have passed already.

I’ve been a LibreHealth intern for some months now and it all began here. I have been working with the most amazing people and thanks to them I’ve learned so much . One thing I really enjoyed is knowing that I am not alone and all I need to do to get help is ask.

Now as days are going by and I feel the end is near I can’t help but feel nostalgic. I wish I could remain involved in this project somehow even after my internship is over 😭 . Presently I am trying to finish up the tasks on my to-do list and I’m hoping to be done by the end of this month (in a few days).

Applications for the next round of Outreachy  internships (December 2018 to March 2019) will open on September 10. You can find more information on this by visiting the website.

A few tips that work

  • Sign up for the Outreachy announcements mailing list to receive an email when the next application period opens.
  • When the application period begins, find a project/an organization you are interested in working with: go for something that you are passionate about so that you’ll see the work as fun rather than a burden.
  • Join the communication channel/group/forum for the project or organization you choose and start communicating with the others to understand how things work there.
  • Contribute to project: it is usually advisable to make several small contributions rather than a one-time contribution.
  • Ask questions when there is something you don’t understand: mentors and other candidates are always pleased to help.
  • Help others when you can; it shows a spirit of team-work.

Focus on Markdown

Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.
― Hermann Hesse

For some months now I’ve been working on documentation for LibreHealth. The documents I write are uploaded to the Libre wiki and available for use by anyone.

Markdown is a lightweight markup language with plain text formatting syntax. It is designed so that it can be converted to HTML and many other formats.

Tools I use

  • Microsoft word
  • A sniper tool
  • Open Office
  • Paint
  • Photoshop
  • Browser

Steps I go through

I start by writing out the document in Microsoft word. To facilitate understanding, I include as many images (screenshots) as possible. These images are taken either by using the Impécr (PrintScreen) button or using a sniper tool and then any necessary edits are performed on them. Once I’m satisfied with the document, I open it in Open Office and export as wikitext. This however does not produce a perfect document but it usually gives me a starting point so I proceed to do the remaining edits manually and adding the images.

Common markdown I use

I’ve found this resource to be very useful.

Translating Libre documents

Image from

As I explained in my previous posts, I am an Outreachy intern working with LibreHealth and my work is centered around documentation. Given that I speak and write both French and English rather fluently, I get to translate documents written by other people as well and that’s really awesome. In my last post I mentioned that I got to work with this really wonderful lady; she’s most definitely one of the most amazing persons I’ve met this year. I asked and she said it’s okay for me to share a link to her blog, you can check it out here.

The thing about translating other people’s works is that you have to understand the way they think to be able to grasp what they mean and convey the same message in another language. At times I come across new words and I have to find out what they mean and then their equivalent in French.

However, some words have a different meaning in context and so, instead of writing the direct equivalent of the word in French I  try to understand their meaning in the context they are used and write that instead (one of my greatest fears is what my French teacher used to refer to as “mot-à-motage” which is the act of translating a document word for word). I usually have my documents checked by a few people before I submit it just to be sure there are not many grammar errors (according to their feedback I have about 95% accuracy 🙂 ).

The past weeks have been stressful for me because I had some problems to deal with and I ended up feeling sick and my output dropped 🙁 . Well, I’m still working with really amazing people and I hope to return on track soon. Stay tuned for updates.


My Outreachy Internship Begins

What I’ve been doing so far

I officially began my internship with LibreHealth a few days ago (on the 23rd May) and it has been nothing short of awesome. During the period between being accepted and officially beginning work, I have been getting acquainted with the members of the team I’m now a part of. Being really shy and introverted, I thought this was going to be the hardest part for me but every one is just so nice and welcoming… They’re all amazing 😊 . Besides this, I’ve been translating some documents that were written by other candidates.

How did I get here?

I heard about Outreachy a few years ago, when it was still known as Free and Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women. I was walking home from school with friends and we were talking about GSOC (Google Summer of Codes) and I remember saying I didn’t feel confident enough to try because everyone i know who had taken part in the program were gurus when it came to programming. This friend told me about a “GSOC for girls” and despite the fact that he encouraged me to apply I still didn’t think I had what it takes so I didn’t make any move.

During my final year in the University I got more interested in programming and I thought I’ll get better by contributing to Free and open-source software (FOSS) so I remembered the talk about “GSOC for girls” and started searching online. Lo and behold every time I typed the words “Free and Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women” in my browser all the results pointed me to OutreachyI carried out my research to find out what Outreachy was and found out that it was the new name of the program I had been looking for. At that time, the December 2017 round had not been launched yet so I archived it hoping to return to it at a later date but I got so caught up with school projects that I completely forgot.

After my graduation in December I put Outreachy at the top of my priority list. The application period had passed for that round so all I did was research. I talked to former “GSOCers” I knew and read the blogs of some of the candidates on the Outreachy alumni page. I set alarms and reminders so I won’t miss the application period no matter what came up.

When the application period came, I went through the list of projects available and LibreHealth caught my attention. Though I had been told that it is advisable to apply for at least 2 projects, I refused to do so. When I started working with the Libre community I got so caught up that I didn’t want to stop. I kept telling myself “either I get accepted here or I’ll try again next time. Whatever the case, I’ll keep working.”. After I’d submitted my final application (a few days to the closing date) I went through a few other listed projects and joined some project communication channels but in the end I didn’t apply for any other project. I volunteered to start translating some of the documents on LibreHealth EHR modules which been submitted while waiting for the results to be announced.

Oh! Documentation

In school, many lecturers required that we write proper documentation for our projects. I have always loved reading and writing but I particularly hated this task. I always thought “😭  this is so not fair, my codes already have comments which explain what happens at every step and the user should be able to guess what the program does once the code is compiled and run so why should I write?!”. Many programmers I know think this way too but here’s an interesting fact I realized recently: NOT EVERYONE CAN FULLY EXPLOIT THE FULL FUNCTIONALITIES OF SOFTWARE WITHOUT GUIDANCE. No matter how intuitive the design may seem, not everyone who comes across the software will be able to enjoy it to the fullest without help. Myself I’ve had to look online for how to perform certain tasks/operations using a software (strangely I didn’t realize I was actually reading documentation other people had made).

When I first began writing for LibreHealth, my work had so many flaws and I had to edit quite a number of times before finally getting it right. I’m so glad I had such patient mentors to help me. I met an amazing lady in the project chat forum, whose writing really inspires me ( 😊 I’ll ask her if I can share a link to her blog here).

So far, so good

I believe I have gotten much better at writing, I know I still have a lot to learn and I’m just so excited!

I got the gig! (Outreachy – May to August 2018 round)

April 23rd 2018,17:00 local time I got the mail. I’d spent the whole day waiting for the results to be published and wondering what my reaction will be when the moment finally came 🙂 . As it turns out, the mail said “Congratulations on being accepted…”. I was overjoyed and couldn’t help but jump and dance :-D.

I will be working for LibreHealth, exploring and documenting the system for future users. I hope to put in my best efforts and deliver the most amazing results.

Let the fun begin.