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Learnings From the First Year of the OPNFV Internship Program


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Ray Paik, Linux Foundation, Serena Feng, ZTE

OPNFV launched its Internship program in Q1'2016, and there have been more than 10 interns around the world contributing to different OPNFV activities ranging from cross community CI, documentation, infrastructure, testing, etc. In this talk, there will be an overview of the OPNFV internship program that is different from more traditional internship programs and a discussion on areas for improvement that were identified. A community member who mentored two interns will also share her experience managing interns remotely and her advice for future interns & mentors. Finally, OPNFV interns will give a quick lightening round talk on their internship projects highlighting their contributions to the community. [NOTE: This is designed as a 60-minute session with interns' lightening round talks as 6-8 interns could be attending the OPNFV Summit. Presentations from Serena/Ray is expected to take about 20-25 minutes]

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Learnings From the First Year of the OPNFV Internship Program

  1. 1. Learnings from the first year of the OPNFV internship program Ray Paik (Linux Foundation) Serena Feng (ZTE)
  2. 2. Agenda OPNFV internship program overview (Ray) •  Mo:va:on for the internship program •  Comparison with other Open Source project internships •  Proposing a project, applying for internship, etc. •  Changes made to the program and further areas for improvement What I learned as a mentor (Serena) •  Coaching interns that are in different countries/:mezones •  Regular communica:ons •  Learning from other mentors •  Scope adjustment
  3. 3. Motivation for the internship program •  Growing the developer community •  Introduce OPNFV & open source software to next generation of developers •  Help with short-term project teams’ needs
  4. 4. Internship program in OPNFV • Typical open source project internship programs • 12-week program around June – August • Students are expected to work full-time (40 hours/week) • Students work where they live (no need to re-locate) and work with a mentor • Stipends are paid at check points (e.g. mid-term/final reviews) during the internship • Changes made for OPNFV • Year around program • Option to work part-time (20 hours/week) over 24 weeks
  5. 5. Internship projects 
 ( •  Projects for documentation, cross-community CI, Pharos, testing, VNF catalog, etc. •  Stats •  Completed projects: 10 (4 in 2016 + 6 in 2017) •  In progress: 3 •  Openings: 6
  6. 6. Learnings & improvements to the program •  Benefits of having multiple mentors for projects •  Have a set quarterly start dates •  e.g. January 1, April 1, June/July 1, and October 1 •  At the end of the internship •  Posting artifacts on the project page •  “Final grade” from mentors
  7. 7. Areas for improvement/explora:on •  Communication tool/channel among interns •  Job search help for interns •  e.g. resumes on the Jobs/Career Board •  Have projects that do not require code development background •  e.g. help with community building, documentations, user groups, etc.
  8. 8. When establishing an internship project •  Preparation •  Task scopes •  Difficulty •  Time budget •  Desirable skills and experience •  3 months vs. 6 months •  How familiar and difficulty to you •  How frequently you can budget for mentoring •  Intern’s time arrangement
  9. 9. Coaching methodology •  They are employees •  Tell them what needs to be done •  But, NOT tell how to do the work •  Actually, they are interns •  Not let them fight alone •  Give necessary guidance •  Timeliness •  Intern feedback •  Mentor’s help
  10. 10. Coaching philosophy •  Mentor to Intern •  Trust •  Being patient and positive •  Not being overly critical •  Mentor and Intern •  Go beyond mentor and intern relationship •  Other mentors and community members •  Learn from other mentors •  Seek help from talented people in the community
  11. 11. Coaching philosophy •  Intern to Mentor •  Should feel open to speak with no fear •  Intern and Community •  Work as a real community member •  Attend weekly meetings •  Talk to the community directly •  Mentor not a proxy for everything •  e.g. •  Rohit solved Jenkins problems by asking help from Aric directly •  Akhil attends QTIP weekly meetings, takes tasks and reports directly
  12. 12. Scope adjustment •  Mentor’s challenge: estimation not always accurate •  Project needs: requirements may change •  Intern’s capability •  e.g. on qtip-api •  from: simple flask-api •  to: ansible-semaphore
  13. 13. Coaching arrangement •  Meeting •  Regular weekly meetings •  On call for urgent problems •  Tools •  text: IRC/email •  video: hangouts/zoom(40min free)/appear-in •  timer:
  14. 14. Intern’s feedback •  A win-win situation for both interns and community •  A friendly ecosystem among interns, mentors, and the community •  Interns help each other •  Let interns be part of the team •  Let interns figure things out on their own, track and guide in a timely manner (when needed) •  Consensus among mentor and team to avoid confusing interns •  Interns are happy with challenging tasks beyond scope
  15. 15. Get involved! •  Students: •  Get in touch with mentors and apply for internship projects posted at •  Community at large •  Create and post new projects •  Talk to and meet with OPNFV interns! •  Intern lightning round at the Ideas Nest today at 17:30
  16. 16. Questions?