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A perspective overview on my open-source journey. DPS911 Blog #14: Telescope 2.0 release

hyperthd profile image Abdulbasid Guled ・8 min read

Where do I even begin?

Well, this has been a crazy ride the last 8 months. Today, we successfully shipped Telescope 2.0. It's rather bittersweet. Nothing too exciting really happened, and I think I liked it better that way than how many of our releases went, with many PRs going up last second. Looking back, it's been an up and down ride with many positives outweighing the negatives.

First of all, I need to thank the people I worked with during this whole saga. I'll list them in no apparent order:

  • Mo. I wouldn't be taking this course, or the predecessor, DPS909, if not for him. I didn't even know about our professor, David, at the time, but the way he was talking about him and just seeing how enthusiastic he was a year ago in our 3rd semester made me really curious. It would just be alot of positive stories and that made me really excited. Thanks so much, man! You've made working on backend/microservice related issues and Satellite a blast to work with.
  • Chris. You had some of the most quirkiest blogs I've ever read. Your user service was also one of the more annoying things I've had the unwanted pleasure of reviewing. I don't regret one bit of it. You've been a joy to be around, and my only regret is that our open source journey was not in-person. That said, that didn't stop you from helping me out time and time again. I appreciate that, and best of luck now that you're done CPA!
  • Anton and Ilya. You both have pretty much been my senpai this semester, since you both are a year ahead of me in the same program. I've always enjoyed asking you about how the program was for you, and that has smoothly transitioned into our work on both Telescope, and the Linux system development pro option we all ended up taking together. While you both may be graduating soon, I hope that what we've done together this semester will always stay with you both. I know I will for sure.
  • Yuan and Royce. Thank you for allowing me to not focus so hard on accessibility with the front-end. I always loved reviewing your PRs, even if I was never originally pinged to do so. I know my search context helped you in particular, Royce, so I appreciate the shout-out! I know who to call if I ever need help with accessibility and color related issues in the future.
  • Tony. Your work in the PWA PR and Feed-Discovery service was awe-inspiring. Even more important, your work in figuring out what components needed to be ported over with your list at the beginning of the semester was vital to us being able to switch to NextJS as quickly as we did. I only wished you weren't in your co-op so you could've been more active in our triage meetings. Stay strong, friend! You got a bright future ahead.
  • Pedro, Duc, and Minh. Thank you all for allowing me to stay away from the 2.0 design! CSS has always been my weakest area and the work you all have put into it has been magnificent. Reviewing the SignUp PR was just about the most I've done for you all, but that was always good enough for me! You all gotta show me Adobe Illustrator though, that software is a thing of beauty.
  • Josue. You caught alot of mistakes that I've made in many of my PRs. Most of all, that extra nudge you gave was the kind of support I really needed when going into more of the DevOps side of things. It's been a pleasure both learning and seeing you work your magic. Hopefully, we can continue working together in CDOT, assuming you convince Chris Tyler to give me an offer. :D
  • David. Your wisdom is something I will never, truly, forget. I can't begin to imagine how hard it must been when you're a professor and you're expected to know the answers to stuff you barely know of, and yet, you always seem to find a way to make things work. Whether intentional or not, you've been great technical and emotional support at times when I've needed them most. It's been an honour being your student the last 8 months, and it's an experience I will keep with me well until my career in the not so distant future.

There have been many others that have come and gone in my open source journey. Many of my colleagues that took DPS909 in the Fall did not take DPS911 this semester. Royce and Mo were the only ones I were familiar with heading in. That didn't stop me from being me, very hyper and active in both slack and github.

With that emotional piece outta the way, I'll discuss about what I did this week.

I landed 3 PRs this week. All 3 can be found below:

Not much work this week, but each of these PRs held some sort of importance to me, since 2 of them were updates/audits and the first one was a critical bug fix for our front-end.

In terms of what I reviewed this week, Chris's PR that I mentioned last week to fix the user e2e tests was one. Royce had a PR that I reviewed this week, you can find it here. Other than that, not much reviews from me. I did do an extensive review of Minh's Search related PRs to address advanced search features, but those did not land in time for 2.0. I blame my lack of reviews this week on final exam week, but w/e. What's done is done!

Open-Source has really been a fun adventure for me to really dig into. When I first enrolled in the Fall, I wasn't really sure about it, only that it allowed me to practice with other languages I never got to use since my program always loved C++. It's really been more than just languages, but the tools and skills you learn and use. It's stuff that sticks with you forever. For example, CI/CD pipelines were one area that I really fell in love with and was always fascinated with. Unit testing was a pain that I had to learn eventually, and it gave me alot of trouble. It's a skill that is invaluable though. With the recent Rogers shutdown due to a software update, it seems very clear that both tests and CI/CD are very important and should be a stable in software development.

It wasn't without it's bumps, however. My ending with hacktoberfest was very lackluster, and my release 0.3 was about as terrible as can be. With all this in mind, I managed to bounce back each time. Even as recently as the regression I introduced to the search feature, I found the bug fix and made a PR that fixed it in no time. It won't always be this quick, but I believe it's important for people to make mistakes, even big ones sometimes, because we never grow from them. This is an industry that evolves rapidly, and no one is ever perfect. Each time I was down, I got back up, and it showed in my work this semester.

When I started DPS911, I wanted to make it very clear that I would be willing to work on all aspects of telescope. I went hard with the typescript port, and even updated our front-end docs to make them more universal than they were before. I signed up early for the microservices, because I knew that having the skillset with the technology stack used would be vital to growing in this industry. It wasn't easy, but nothing is when trying out something new. When my posts service finally launched in staging and production, it was an amazing feat to see. Full-stack was always an area I enjoyed, because I wasn't ever restricted with where I worked. Being flexible is also important in this industry since you can move from one team to another and not lose track of standards used. This showed in the work I've done; I've worked on the front-end, back-end, DevOps related stuff, and Satellite. I'm proud of all the work I've done in each area, big or small, and I hope everyone else is too!

Most important of all, the connections I've made here and in the broader community is something I'll never forget. It's really made me interested in starting a project and making it open-sourced. If I don't get a co-op this summer, we are allowed to exempt 1 from our graduation requirements. I think I'll use that time to dig in and start something like this. It would certainly be interesting to see how far it goes.

It's funny when you think about it. My first contributions to Telescope was an update to our environment documentation, and my PR to audit the backend and microservices is also the final PR before Telescope 2.0. To see the growth I've made in front of me is really inspiring.

With all this in mind, I wanna thank you, the reader, for keeping up with my weekly posts. I know I lack any sort of images at times, but I believe that words are the best way for me to convey how I'm feeling at a specific point in time. Where do I go from here? Well, I'm still trying to get a co-op, but this summer will be my first free summer in 3 years. I started BSD in Winter 2019 so that meant that I had to go to school in the summer while those that started in the Fall 2018 semester got a summer off. It's certainly a time to reflect, but a time to relax and enjoy myself for sure. I got lots of stuff I wanna do this summer.

That just about concludes my journey in Seneca's open-source professional options courses. It's not the end of my open-source journey. I wanna continue contributing to Telescope in any way if possible and I'll make my intentions clear. With my lighter course load in my final year of school, helping Telescope go beyond where it's at will be something I look forward to doing, hopefully if given the opportunity. Spreading what I learned with those that take over Telescope after our group will be something alright.

Thank you to probably the most resilient group we've had, doing this course in the middle of a global pandemic. It was never going to be easy, but it was well worth it. Until next time, stay safe everyone!

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