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1 dnl -*- html -*-
2 define(__title, `My internship with the FSF tech team and beyond')dnl
3 define(__pub, 2020-12-18T15:31:00-04:00)dnl
4 define(__id, 3)dnl
5 include(header.html)dnl
6
7 <p class="box">Originally published on the Free Software Foundation's
8 sysadmin blog:<br/>
9 <a href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/sysadmin/my-internship-with-the-fsf-tech-team-and-beyond">My internship with the FSF tech team and beyond</a>.</p>
10
11 <p>Hello! I'm
12 <a href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/sysadmin/introducing-bandali-intern-with-the-fsf-tech-team">Amin Bandali</a>,
13 and this is my second blog post on the FSF sysadmin blog, concluding
14 my internship with the FSF tech team this year.</p>
15
16 <p>Throughout my internship with the tech team, I have worked mainly
17 on sysadmin tasks related to setting up and/or managing FSF's
18 GNU/Linux servers. Perhaps most significantly, I set up an instance
19 of the <a href="https://sourcehut.org">Sourcehut</a> forge software to
20 help
21 <a href="https://libreplanet.org/wiki/FSF_2020_forge_evaluation">evaluate</a>
22 it as a candidate for the upcoming
23 <a href="https://www.fsf.org/blogs/sysadmin/coming-soon-a-new-site-for-fully-free-collaboration">FSF forge project</a>.
24 I documented the installation and setup process of Sourcehut's various
25 components in the form of a literate GNU Emacs Org-mode file, where
26 source blocks are interspersed with comments and prose explaining
27 them. One can then progressively evaluate and execute the source
28 blocks, and optionally have their results stored back in the Org file
29 itself to help with documentation/demonstration.</p>
30
31 <p>I have also been slowly working on various improvements for the
32 server running www.gnu.org, and will continue doing work on it as a
33 volunteer after the end of my internship. This will hopefully be
34 beneficial to the FSF sysadmins running the server, the GNU webmasters
35 who do webmastering work on gnu.org, and the general public browsing
36 and using gnu.org's pages. Notably, changes included upgrading the
37 server to the latest release of Trisquel GNU/Linux, and revamping and
38 improving the search mechanism for gnu.org's pages. Additionally,
39 there are several other projects that I would like to tackle with the
40 tech team in the near future.</p>
41
42 <p>During my internship with the FSF tech team, I picked up a variety
43 of new skills and learned more about a diverse set of topics and
44 tools. This included building and installing a complex piece of
45 software like Sourcehut and debugging issues encountered along the
46 way, using Ansible for managing and deploying infrastructure, as well
47 as learning more about the Exim mail transfer agent used to run FSF
48 and GNU's array of mail servers.</p>
49
50 <p>In conclusion to my internship and the year 2020, it's safe to say
51 that this year has been an eventful year for many people, including
52 myself. I started my internship with the tech team back in May, and
53 as a graduate student at the time, I was expecting a reasonable and
54 balanced workload for my work on my thesis over the coming months.
55 However, early on (less than two weeks) into my internship I learned
56 that due to a number of reasons, I needed to complete my master's
57 studies on a two-month deadline. I told the tech team about the
58 issue, asking whether I could take a hiatus to complete my studies
59 without affecting my internship. I am beyond thankful to the tech
60 team and the FSF as whole for being accommodating, and for their
61 flexibility in allowing me to take a leave to focus on writing my
62 thesis and wrapping up my master's studies. I managed to successfully
63 wrap up my studies in that short timeline, and focus on my internship
64 afterwards.</p>
65
66 <p>However, all good things must come to an end, and this internship
67 is no exception. I am incredibly grateful to the members of the FSF
68 tech team -- Ian, Andrew, Ruben, and Michael -- for welcoming me to
69 the team as an intern and mentoring me, answering my many questions,
70 and helping me learn more. It has been an honour and a wonderful
71 experience for me all around working with you all and seeing the
72 energy and passion with which you take on the work and
73 responsibilities that come with being an FSF sysadmin and Web
74 developer. While most of my interactions were with the tech team, I
75 also got to interact with FSF staffers from several other teams during
76 my internship, and I'm thankful for our conversations and the chance
77 to get to know and appreciate the important work you do.</p>
78
79 <p>This internship has come to an end, but I will carry with me all of
80 the good memories and the lessons I learned along the way, and will
81 happily to continue working with you as a volunteer. The things I
82 learned have been invaluable and greatly helpful to me, as I
83 transitioned into my new full-time job at Savoir-faire Linux as a Free
84 Software Consultant, where I get to work on various parts and aspects
85 of Jami, a GNU package for universal communication which respects the
86 freedoms and privacy of its users.</p>
87
88 <p>I would like to thank the FSF for providing me this excellent
89 opportunity to work alongside the tech team as an intern, and take
90 away so many valuable lessons and great memories.</p>
91
92 <p class="box">Interested in interning for the Free Software
93 Foundation? The application period for spring 2021 internships is
94 currently open. Please see
95 <a href="https://www.fsf.org/volunteer/internships">https://www.fsf.org/volunteer/internships</a>
96 for more details and information on how to apply!</p>
97
98 define(__copy, `2020')dnl
99 include(footer.html)dnl