Hooray! I will be one of the Linux kernel interns for Round 7 of the Gnome Outreach Program for Women. My professional career has begun. I am at last living the life. When I found out, I was actually shaking, and I ran through the house yelling “YEAH!” until I was hoarse. For the first time in my life, I’ll be working full time doing something I want and choose to do, not that I have to do. To everyone I ever worked with in retail, Farewell My Friends!
It wasn’t just getting the internship that made me so happy. I applied to both the Linux Kernel and the Xen hypervisor–and I was accepted for both! I had to decide between them. It’s a high honor to be accepted by both teams, for my first choice project in each no less. It’s turning my view of myself and my capabilities completely around.
Despite it being a happy dilemma, it was painful to choose one project over the other. The Xen mentors are such skilled communicators, and so sweet and supportive, that it broke my heart to tell them no. The code is as fascinating as the kernel code, and the experience would open as many doors for me as kernel experience would. Besides, I’ve never had the privilege of having to choose between two fantastic opportunities before. I experienced some real cognitive dissonance, and some success guilt, too. Purging myself of that is one of my personal goals for the next three months.
I want to give a big round of thanks to everyone who helped me. To all the kernel mentors, for easing me into the work and showing me what life as a kernel developer is like. To the Xen mentors, for doing the same, and for putting up with the goofs I made as I pushed myself to the last possible minute. To Anita Kuno, for helping put on the CodeChix OpenStack event and advising me to apply to at least two organizations. I was tempted to slack off after all those kernel patches; but if I had, I would never have known about Xen, and wouldn’t have had the joy of being chosen twice. To
Marina Zhurakhinskaya,* who met with me at the Grace Hopper Celebration, answered my questions, and gave me the guidance to get this blog up and running. To the other applicants, who tested and challenged me in friendly competition, and inspired me to work harder. Especially, to everyone within Gnome, the Linux Foundation, the Xen Foundation, the OPW committee, and that I don’t even know about, for developing this program and making it all possible. Plus, to everyone in the whole wide world. That’s how I feel right now.
Now, the real work begins.
[Edited to add link to OPW accepted participants.]
*[Edited: Marina Z contacted me to let me know that the person who helped me at GHC wasn’t her! If anyone reading this can put me in touch with the right person, I’d greatly appreciate it. Marina, you still rock!]