Coding internships: Student Kripa and her experience in Google Code-in 2019


>cd /mobiusdonut/2019
>cat gci.txt

Seven weeks.

That's how long it took for me to go from your run-of-the-mill compsci student, coding in her parents' basement to an open-source contributor with multiple developer milestones under her belt.

For those not in the know, Google Code-in is an annual competition for pre-university students ages 13-17 that provides them with something most developers will never experience: the opportunity to contribute code to an open-source organization.

My journey began a bit later than my fellow competitors; I didn't hear about the competition until about a week in. Even so, the format made it extremely easy to catch up. Finding tasks for beginners is extremely easy, and lets you get a feel of an organization before committing to one.

I chose Liquid Galaxy because of its connection to machine learning, but from game design to data collection, Google Code-in has something for everyone. Even within an organization, tasks can include anything from logo design to creating Android apps from scratch.

I started out small, with the first CityTour task: a relatively trivial task involving collecting data about your hometown. Little did I know that by the end of the competition, I would have transformed that data into an app that navigates Google Earth remotely to provide an informative tour of the city.

Working with Liquid Galaxy exposed me to a wide range of topics; tasks included working with virtual machines, testing apps, and writing documentation. The core of Liquid Galaxy involves setting up and connecting multiple virtual machines to run: a daunting task for someone new to using them. Even so, I persevered, and with the help of the Liquid Galaxy Slack, I managed to get an installation up and running, along with the app.

Another task got me to work with Arduinos for what felt like the first time in ages. Using a gyroscope module, I created a remote control for Liquid Galaxy that made navigation more natural.

I'd like to thank the mentors, without which this experience would never have been possible, as well congratulate the winners, my fellow runner up, and the finalists! Here's to a new journey: one that we'll take together.
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