Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
The Continuing Adventures (Transitioning From Intern To Volunteer)
Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2014 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.
By now dozens of women have stepped into open source via Outreach Program for Women, a paid internship program administered by the GNOME Foundation. I recently asked several of them whether they had been able to transition from intern to volunteer.*
Are you succeeding at continuing to volunteer in your open source project? Or are you running into trouble? I'd love to know how people are doing and whether y'all need help.
When you were an OPW intern, you had a mentor and you had committed to a specific project for three months. Volunteering is freer -- you can change your focus every week if you want -- but the training wheels are gone and you have to steer yourself.
(I bet Google Summer of Code alumni have similar experiences.)
I got several answers, and in them I saw some common problems to which I suggest solutions.
These are tips for the graduating interns themselves; it would be good for someone, maybe me, to also write a list of tips for the organizers and mentors to nurture continued participation.
* OPW also provides a list of paid opportunities for alumni.