Being accepted as an Outreachy intern doesn’ t mean the struggles are over. That is the feeling i have had in the past 3 weeks which have been the first 3 weeks of my internship. After being accepted into the program i was relieved, that I have finally found a solace where i experience no or less issues but that’s not the case.

As an Outreachy intern at USHAHIDI I have faced difficulties and I have struggled. This experience has made me to come to the conclusion that Everyone struggles; Aspiring Outreachy applicant,Outreachy applicant and Outreachy intern we all face struggles.

Few weeks into the internship and I am facing problems already. The very first of them was on Forking and Cloning the project Repository created purposely for the “Voice-integration Project”. A brand new Repo created for the project with no content, was what i wanted to clone and fork Lol. This issue had me stuck on it for days. Usually as Open source contributor what i normally do when I approach an Organisation or project i am interested in is that i fork it to have a copy of the repo on my Github and make changes and see possible result after working on it. Also, clone so that i can have a copy of it on my computer remotely.

However,this is not the trend for an empty repo. Actually an empty repo can neither be forked nor cloned this was a major setback i faced for some days while working on a task. A Repo must contain at least a file before being cloned or forked that is it must have some content. A basic problem like this is what kept me for days. I was searching on how to clone and fork an empty repo till at the end I finally found answer on Google. I beat myself saying that a question as basic as this was what I couldn’t solve for days? But i was realized that the same problem had been faced too by other developers once in their life.

Another stuck issue was with Setting up the development environment of my organisation on my local machine. With most open source organisations to begin development, contributors always have to set up their Organizations required development environment which was what i did when i came into the organisation as an applicant in March. USHAHIDI requires its contributors to set up the Platform-Api and the Platform-Client successfully before one can successfully make contributions. My environment worked from application period till about a week into the internship. I wondered what was wrong i had neither changed my configuration or any detail for the setup but it had problems. Huh!!! Computer mystics.

Looking at it closely and with help from my mentors the issue was well defined and clear to me. The problem was my web server or in better terms my localhost was not pointing to the platform folder for neither the client nor the API. How that suddenly happened was mystical to me but nevertheless I had to fix it. And after a some days of pondering and wondering i finally solved it by creating a virtual host for the platform-folder and then used the virtual host to point to the platform-folder directory.

These challenges were somewhat trivial and others a bit complex,I had to search the web for solutions,ask questions to mentors and other contributors and finally the solution then came.

Reaching out for help from my organisation was quite easy and smooth. I was always directed to resources that might help and even have real chats with some of the contributors so that they could guide me on working it out. My mentors were of most help they each took out their time to go through the installation with me one more time till i finally solved it.

To anyone worried about asking for help i would say don’t be.Asking for help was the main reason i solved my issues because i reached out to people who had experience,to my community and also to my mentors. They were of great help. They directed me gave me resources and even had live video with me so as to see that i am on the right track.

Keeping quiet and staying with your problem will not help you. You need to ask experienced people and your mentors too. So never feel ashamed or worried to ask be bold and polite and be straight to the point don’t feel your question is stupid but it is always good to search for a solution before you reach out, defining the solutions you have tried and the output you obtained. This helps the people you are asking and gives them hints of what the problem could be.