Diversity Scholarship Series: Experiencing KubeCon + CloudNativeCon + Open Source Summit in Shanghai

By July 10, 2019 Blog

Guest post by Irvi Aini, originally published on Medium

As someone who is still a newbie in the open source world, I often feel intimidated. At first, I wasn’t even sure whether I should contribute or not, even though I’ve been involved in several communities in my home country, Indonesia. This kind of feeling doesn’t dissipate easily (previously I’ve been active in the Docker and Kubernetes communities).

Whenever I want to start contributing, I just feel like, well they must be really smart and I am still a newbie. Then several things happened and someone told me that I’ll be disappointed if I keep getting stuck inside your own mind, forever undecided. Then I gathered my courage to start looking at something that may I could achieve. I began to look at the design docs, various SIGs, and I even tried to look at what the biweekly meeting looks like.

One day my friend asked me to help him initiating localization for Kubernetes’ documentation in Bahasa Indonesia. I had been looking at this project as well, and with the help of a fellow contributor from 🇫🇷, I begin initiating this project with this friend of mine. I made several mistakes, but the response from the reviewer was actually beyond my expectation, they were really nice.. and I got a lot of help as well… To be honest I was really struggling, because when I started doing this project my knowledge about Bahasa Indonesia was not as good as I ever thought beforehand. Now that I was involved in this project I was promoted as a member of the Kubernetes organization with sponsorship from the code OWNERS and fellow contributor from 🇫🇷. At that time, this friend also dared me to write a paper and submit it for KubeCon. However I still don’t have the courage of doing public speaking with a worldwide audience. Even the thought about it is still too much for me.

After this localization project, I began working on the Kubernetes-client organization which involved coding. It was fun, since I got the chance to learn more about Haskell. At this point I dared myself to apply for a Kubecon contributor discount. Since it was too late for Barcelona, I tried my luck for KubeCon Shanghai. I emailed Linux Foundation, included my Github handle and voila I got the discount: so I got the ticket for “free”. However another problem was that I still needed accommodations to be able to attend the event. I remember that Linux Foundation already spent about $770,000 USD for the purpose of providing scholarships. Diversity scholarship program provides support to those from traditionally underrepresented and/or marginalized group in technology and/or open source communities. A recipient will receive up to $1500 USD to reimburse actual travel expenses (airfare, hotel, and ground transport). I began to search if KubeCon Shanghai is also supported, I saw this link about the diversity scholarship and then I applied. The application mechanism is actually pretty straightforward, you’ll be required to fill in the details about your experiences, motivations, and what you will gain after you attend the event. A few weeks later, I got a reply from Linux Foundation and they said they will give me travel funds for my accommodation. I felt so happy and blessed since I was selected as a part of 309 recipients (accumulated for 7 KubeCon events) around the world. I also felt excited to meet all the folks that I’ve known before through Slack or Mailing List. I had the chance to discuss deeper topics about CNCF related projects.

My intention of writing this is actually simple. I don’t know how much people feel the same as me,but I hope that what I share can show that sometimes it’s better to try something new and then say I’m glad I did that, instead of letting the possibility of doing something new pass you by and then regret the decision made in the past. Don’t hesitate to contribute just because you feel intimidated, especially if you’re planning on contributing to CNCF projects. I think CNCF and Kubernetes have very nice people who are eager to help during your journey as a fellow contributor. Cheers..

For the localization project

Surely we will be really happy if you want to help as well 😊. We listed all of the things that need to be done for this first milestone on the tracking page in this Github issue. Not all contributions include coding in the open source project. Happy contributing!