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My Journey Facing Fears and Starting as an Open-Source Contributor

josselineperdomo profile image Josseline Perdomo ・4 min read

This post is part of my Outreachy Internship blogs.

Hello DEV Community! Nice to be here 👋🏻, for so long I really want to start blogging but I postpone doing it later on. Most of the time, I was saying to myself so many reasons to don't do it. In the end, I found out that all of these are excuses that I told myself to avoid facing that writing could be challenging!

Recently, I got selected in Outreachy as an Intern at Fedora, and one of the tasks as an intern is blogging about my experiences. It's the perfect occasion to finally do my first blog entry ever!

Joey and Chandler meme meme

This first entry is not technical at all. Before telling you more details about Outreachy, or my project in Fedora, I'd like to talk about me, sharing some of my stories as a woman in tech looking for her own path. So, let's start! 😊

As you may have guessed, my name is Josseline Perdomo, some of my friends call me Joss. I'm a Software Developer from Venezuela 🇻🇪 In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, watching movies, especially dramas, and also series (just like most of you 😉). Also, during the quarantine, I've found an interest in gardening, and painting mandalas, both activities could be very relaxing and you can do them indoors.

Although most of my working experience is related to web development, I've been curious about other areas in Computer Science. A fun fact: curiosity about how animation by computer actually works was one of the reasons I felt attracted to study Computer Science. My younger version dreamed of being part of a big animation studio, like Pixar. When I look back, not only in my career but also in life, curiosity has been one of the reasons I push myself and try new things.

Besides curiosity, learning has been another of my core values. Learning is so powerful that gives us the chance to get new skills, like gardening 🌱 or programming 👩‍💻. It's so powerful that it can be wonderful or painful, very useful when we pay enough attention. The most recent of my learning has been a bit deeper than a new technical skill, it's about how I feel about myself. Learning to forgive some of my past decisions and paying more attention to my feelings has changed my life.

Like so many of you, the pandemic has been a bit complicated, messy and also has changed my life. Last year, I'd experienced moments where I asked myself if I felt comfortable with my experiences studying and working in tech. I was looking for how I feel about my job or my career. After a few months of working on myself, I finally have gotten a better approach to my career and most importantly, I've improved my self-concept.

Now, I'm able to see that growth is one of the things that I'm looking for, I've almost my whole life pursuing it. And, of course, I'm going to tell you why I think this.

For some people, growth involves going through a nonlinear path. It's kind of like going through climbing a mountain and then walking on a plateau. I know, you may think "getting stuck on the plateau doesn't mean growing at all", but in fact, it could be, it's a thing of perspective. When you start to feel bored or stuck on the plateau, instead of doing the same thing, you need to figure out what you should do in a different way to stop feeling stuck. It's the opportunity to take action and change your path.

Some of our fears have been a blocker to keep growing, our instinct is to put a shield to avoid thinking about it and don't feel scared, that'll only make matters worse. We usually make a task bigger than it actually is, and our anti-fears shield is creative enough to make excuses, negativity, or procrastination appear. The thing is, we follow the "easy path" avoiding our fears, we choose to believe in our excuses, just to feel better at the moment, we sometimes give up.

So many times I gave up on blogging about tech or contributing to open-source communities because "I wasn't experienced enough" or "My English is not good enough"... I believed in this voice so many times and for so long, unfortunately not only into these, and sometimes it's been a blocker to keep pursuing my goals.

If you are currently asking yourself those kinds of questions or hearing this inner voice, my advice is to do the first step without thinking too much about it, and then do the same with the second step and so on.

Progress meme

In my case, to overcome my fear of contributing to open-source communities my first step was to participate in the last Hacktoberfest. After this experience, a few months later, I sent an application to Outreachy, it was the second step, I still cannot believe my proposal got selected!

Making this entry is also a new step to overcome my fears, specifically the blogging one. When I think about how far I'll go instead of listening to my excuses, I encourage myself to take action without thinking too much. Getting selected in Outreachy has helped to boost my self-confidence, it's a motivation to work harder to improve my skills. After 2 months of the process, I found Fedora a community open to newcomers, and a welcoming place.

It's been a week since I started my internship at Fedora and after writing this entry I feel better, with confidence, and very proud to finally overcome some of my anti-fear shields 😊 It's the best way to keep growing.

Yes girl, you can do it meme

If you would like to share any thoughts about tech, self-confidence, movies or even gardening tips feel free to reach out to me on Twitter✨.

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