Day 88

Today, I’ll talk about my GSoC experience and won’t focus so much on Khipu, but in the next days I’ll publish a post about Khipu and what I’ve done.

As I said in the old posts, the begin was the most complicated part for me. I made a project thinking that I’d be able to complete, I started studying the code and the things I’d make many weeks before the start. But I couldn’t understand the code and I think it’s my fault. I even lost three weeks after the start stuck in this situation. It was hard for me, because I was really scared about failing and at the same time dealing with my college stuff, because in Brazil, our summer (and our summer vacation), is in December-February, in July we have a three week vacation, but GSoC lasts three months. I wasn’t having a good time at college as well, but with the help of my mentors I found a way to deal with the both things and as everything went well.

After this complicated start, to not fail, my mentor suggested that I could change my project. My initial project was to create new features to Khipu and Analitza (Khipu’s main library) to make it a better application and move it out from beta. Then, my new project was to refactor Khipu (using C++ and QML). I was scared because I didn’t know if I’d be able to complete it, but the simplicity of QML helped me a lot, and before the first evaluation (approx. two weeks after I decided my new project) I finished the interface, or at least most of it.

During the second period, in the start, I slowed down my code activities because I was in the end of my college semester and I had to focus on my final tests. But after this, I started to work in the backend and learned about models, connections between C++ and QML, and the most important: I improved my programming skills. I needed to learn to build a real program, and not making small patches as I used to do in my open source contributions history. In the end of this period, the screen was already working and showing 2D and 3D spaces and plotting functions.

So here I am, in the end of the third and last period writing about this experience. In this period, I worked in the program buttons and options, created dialogs, improved the readability of my code, documented my functions and files, and the technical stuff that I’ll explain in the next post.
This period is being nice, because I gained so much maturity, not only for coding, but to my life. I feel I’m able to fix the bugs that still are there and to deal with new situations in my professional and even in my personal life.

This post has the purpose to share my experience to the students that will participate on the next years. So I’d like to give two advices based on my experience:
1- don’t freak out, ask for help. The time that you lose scared and nervous, use it to think rationally on what you can do to solve that problem.
2- make a weekly activities schedule, it maybe will sound obvious, but after I started doing it, my productivity increased a lot, because is easier to control how much time I’m working and allocate time to my other activities.
And, of course, I’d like to say to KDE, Google and my mentors: thanks for this opportunity.

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