Hey everyone! I’m Chaitanya Thakur, currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree from University of Mysore. I’m thrilled to share my journey in the C4GT program with you. As an avid supporter of open-source initiatives, I’ve always been passionate about collaborating and contributing to projects that have a global impact. Participating in the C4GT program has been a remarkable opportunity for me to dive deeper into my passion and contribute to meaningful projects. Throughout this blog, I’ll take you through my experiences, challenges, and accomplishments as I embarked on this incredible journey in the world of open source.
If you haven’t heard of C4GT, let me give you a quick introduction. Code for GovTech (C4GT) is a unique program aimed at creating India’s first active open-source community of coders that can build and contribute to global Digital Public Goods. I discovered C4GT through an email that caught my attention.
Among so many intriguing projects, one particular organization caught my attention which was Glific. What made Glific stand out from the rest? Well, firstly, it was a delightful coincidence to come across a project in the realm of chat applications, an area I had previously worked on.
Secondly, the fact that they had a dedicated Discord server for communication demonstrated their commitment to efficient collaboration truly impressed me. It gave me confidence that they had already established a reliable framework for effective interaction among team members which immediately clicked with me.
Moreover, I couldn’t help but admire their sleek and captivating logo. It’s these seemingly minor details that enhance the project’s appeal and highlight the organization’s commitment to creating a compelling brand.
So what is Glific all about? Glific is an open-source two-way communication platform which helps NGOs to have conversations with their community digitally. Personally, I like how Glific continues to impress by consistently introducing exciting new features.
As I delved deeper into Glific’s projects, I was thrilled to find that each one of them to be incredibly exciting. I discovered that the codebase was predominantly written in Elixir, a programming language I was not familiar with at the time. However, the enthusiasm ignited by their projects motivated me to take on the challenge of learning Elixir. I saw it as an opportunity to expand my skill set and embrace a new programming language while working on these fascinating projects.
After much contemplation, I decided to work on Glific’s project focused on enhancing the internal dashboard, which involved incorporating additional graphs, data export functionality, periodic data mailing, and more.
Next, I joined their Discord server and introduced myself. I was asked to set up the project on my local machine. However, as many of us can relate, encountering errors during the setup process can be frustrating. Though it took some time to navigate the setup process, the mentors were extremely patient and supportive at every step. Despite their significant responsibilities within the company, they were always available and willing to assist. Whether it was through immediate meetings or quick responses, they ensured that I received the guidance I needed to overcome any errors or obstacles during the setup phase. It showcased their commitment to creating a supportive and collaborative environment, and I couldn’t have been more grateful to be a part of such an incredible team.
Under the guidance of my mentor, I was fortunate to receive exceptional support and resources for learning the language. From the very beginning, my mentor went above and beyond, providing us with a curated selection of the best available resources to enhance our understanding of the language. Daily standups became a valuable routine, where we not only discussed progress but also had the opportunity to ask questions and clarify any doubts that arose during the learning process. Their thoughtful approach enabled us to build a solid foundation and gradually advance our skills in the language. Through every step, my mentor was there, always ready to offer guidance, encouragement, and support. Thanks to their mentorship, I was able to navigate the learning process with confidence and achieve significant milestones along the way.
My initial contribution to the organization involved improving their documentation. I focused on making the instructions clearer and providing valuable insights, aiming to help developers avoid the errors and challenges I faced during my own experience.
I wrote a proposal that explained my understanding of the project and how I planned to work on it. My mentor played a crucial role in helping me improve the proposal. They provided valuable guidance and support, helping me align my ideas with the project’s goals. We worked together to create a strong and persuasive proposal that demonstrated my dedication and enthusiasm to contribute effectively to the project.
In addition to the invaluable guidance from my mentor, I was fortunate to be surrounded by a supportive group of peers. They became more than just colleagues; they became my companions on this learning journey. Together, we shared a common excitement for the project and a collective commitment to personal and professional growth.
Collaborating with such a remarkable group of individuals has filled me with anticipation and enthusiasm for the journey ahead. I am genuinely excited to work alongside them, leveraging our collective knowledge and skills to tackle challenges, share insights, and create something extraordinary.
Reflecting on my journey so far, I am grateful to have met an incredible team and formed amazing friendships along the way. Working with them has not only expanded my skills in Elixir but has also boosted my confidence in handling errors without fear. I have also learned a valuable lesson about the importance of collaboration. I am genuinely thrilled and eager to continue working on the project even beyond the scope of C4GT.