Public Lab Research note


by ruthnwaiganjo | December 11, 2020 14:07 11 Dec 14:07 | #25228 | #25228

I am currently an Outreachy intern working with Public Lab. Mainly focused on the dashboard redesign. A fun fact about me is that I like trying out new recipes and exploring food from different cultures. You can probably find me awake late in the night watching The Food Ranger or Mark Weins on YouTube. Who travel the world and share their food experience. I have been a Rails developer for about two years. My interest in contributing to the Open Source community led me here.

The past two weeks have been both scary and exciting. Scared at the thought of under-delivering and excited at the chance to work with a community that not only values the code contributed but also the person writing the code.

My core values are determination, growth, and seeking challenges as a result of my journey in technology. My first introduction to programming was in my first year of university. The lecturer asked who had programmed before and I saw several hands raised. I had no idea what programming meant yet some of my classmates seemed experienced. I already felt like I did not belong and became fearful of coding.

In my second year, I began attending hackathons and tech events to learn. Learning from the community and seeing products developed that changed people’s lives made me determined to get better. I had to change my attitude and be open to learning despite the challenges.

The problems I faced in my first year were not unique to me. I remember a junior student telling me that she was not sure she belonged in technology. I shared how I was able to address the same challenge she was facing in my first year. I kept in touch and mentored her throughout the years. I was elated when she graduated. It made me realize how much progress I had made by the ability to encourage someone who was facing similar difficulties as I had.

Throughout the years, I was part of the Outreachy mailing list. At first, I wasn’t able to understand the whole application process. I kept passively looking at the emails sent, and partially filling an application. This year, when I saw the call for applications. I decided to take up the chance and join the Open Source community. I knew that the only way to grow is to keep learning. The Open Source community seemed like the best place to learn.

Public Lab has been a great introduction to Open Source. The community is friendly. The maintainers are always gracious enough to provide feedback. A big thank you to Jeff, Sagarpreet, Cess, and Liz who gave Will and I a warm welcome during the start of the Outreachy internship.

[Main image from Google: A Kenyan dish called Ugali]


@ruthnwaiganjo - welcome! Really glad to have you join the Public Lab community and as an Outreachy intern. It's great to learn more about your path into technology & programming, expanding your knowledge about open source, and sharing this delicious Ugali dish! Yum!

If you are available - Public Lab's next event is happening this week! Read more here:

For fun: I recently learned about Sombe (Cassava Leaf Sauce) recipe from Democratic Republic of Congo through a new cookbook I ordered called Berbere & Beets - Recipes from Alaska's Refugee Community. I hope to make it this winter to try for my first time!

Hi @amocorro, thank you 😃

I'll be sure to join the next Public Lab event! Sombe looks really tasty.. I'll see if I can find the ingredients for the dish here and try it out.

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@ruthnwaiganjo so proud of you. Keep going gurl.

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Hi @ruthnwaiganjo thank you for your post! We're so grateful that you joined us and as I mentioned on the Outreachy chat this morning, you're doing super well. 🎉

Thank You!!! 😃

Also - I looked up Ugali and it looks amazing -- I dearly love cooking and nourishing people. I'm trying to brainstorm a good name for a future diner or cafe I dream of opening!

@amocorro that sounds like a really awesome cookbook, thanks for sharing!!

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