Guest post originally published on Medium by Ndubuisi Onyemenam

Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity

Seneca

The first time I applied to OpenTelemetry for the Linux Foundation Internship was for the Q3-Q4 round of 2020. I received a rejection email, so I reached out to the project mentor to know where my application fell short. It turned out that my application was not convincing enough, especially in the area of skills required to deliver the project.

Lessons learned. I spent the following months, learning about the project and making little contributions. Opentelemetry is a CNCF(Cloud Native Computing Foundation) sandbox project, so I watched the CNCF mentoring repository to keep track of mentorship announcements. When the spring round was announced, I knew what was required to deliver the project, and made sure I included timelines, scope, and my experience in the cover letter.

Voila, I got in the second time and didn’t waste time to get started. My project was around fixing issues Identified from user research feedback. These issues ranged from bug fixes, feature requests, as well as the need to have user guides and working examples for the OpenTelemetry PHP Project.

OpenTelemetry is an open-source observability framework that helps developers and other stakeholders get insights into application behavior, by making data available in terms of metrics, traces, and logs. This data can be used in different ways to ensure that a business continues to meet its service level agreements with customers and management. Since OpenTelemetry has implementations in various languages, I saw the project as my gateway into observability using a language I was familiar with. PHP.

Working with my mentor we agreed that the most widely used PHP implementations were WordPressLaravel, and Symfony. So we started with writing guides and creating example projects for OpenTelemetry PHP using Laravel and Symfony. We also identified the need to build customized bundlers/packages for OpenTelemetry using best practices from the Symfony and Laravel communities; this work is in progress.

On the side, I also presented talks on OpenTelemetry at the maiden Kubernetes Day Africa with guidance from my mentor.

Feedback

Software projects take some time before users start leaving feedback, so I was particularly excited to see people raise issues and pull requests around the Laravel guide I wrote.

Learnings

I learned quite a lot in the areas of Software Engineering and Observability all thanks to my mentor and other members of the OpenTelemetry PHP project. I also gained a lot of perspective in empathy and patience while meeting open-source deliverables.

Next steps

I look forward to continuing work on the project, as there is still so much to do and learn.

Shout outs

Special thanks to my mentor Bob Strecansky for his patience and guidance during the course of the internship. I also appreciate the members of the OpenTelemetry PHP community for their help, especially Dalibor Karlovic. Much thanks to the CNCF and Linux Foundation for supporting numerous internships like this.