Week-1: Mending the roads for smooth travel in subsequent weeks

Published: 06/03/2019

Hello folks,

So the 1st week ended pretty quick and here I am to share my 7-day journey. The most shockingly amazing thing happened this week was that my mentors made me the member of our Org - StarKit. Now I'm not only a contributor but officially a collaborator! I am thankful to my mentors for believing in me. 😊


What did I do this week?

- I began with fixing issue in some of the filters we're using (problem in loading them) by writing code to clean the filter data. After several discussions with mentors, I finally ended up creating a new updated HDF file of filters - that works perfectly fine!

- Our Travis test builds unexpectedly began to fail - I identified it was due to a recent update in pluggy (used by pytest). So I created an issue on pluggy repository, their developers were amazingly fast as they fixed the problem within 6 hours.

- Updated codebase for the setup of doctr (to deploy our docs on GitHub pages directly from travis build).


What is coming up next?

This week, work was mostly inclined on fixing & setting things up. In following week, I'll most probably work on creating a static interface on our Sphinx docs that will let users to access required filter curves & information. Or if my mentors suggest to undertake something more prior, I'll work on that (since our package WSynPhot is in its initial phase - so I can't strictly go according to my proposed timeline).


Did I get stuck anywhere?

While setting up doctr - I got confused and mistakenly took the OAUTH key sent by my mentor as public key to put in Travis. Due to my PR, it got publicized! My mentor forwarded me the mail he got from GitHub about privacy leak and I realized what a blunder I committed! *facepalm*

But he was cool about it, said that it was a learning experience for me. So I created another PR for doctr setup, once he himself added newly generated public keys. We had some discussions about the uncertainities he had about my PR but I convinced him and it worked as expected. And viola! we got our docs deployed on github pages. Later my mentor realized OAUTH key was actually not required in the process and cleared the confusion for all of us. 😅


What was something new and exciting I learned?

- Taking initiative to communicate: I reported issue 1st time to another org whose tool/service we're using (pluggy, and SVO from which we obtained unclean filter data) - my mentors even admired me for this!

- HDF5 files (a way to store & organize large amount of data hierarchically in groups): Understood about how they organize data while investigating erroneous data in them and reading/writing them using pandas and h5.py

- And the biggest thing - Keeping Patience: Sounds pretty obvious to already have. But no! when you work in a team, you become very eager to hear from other members, so that you can proceed and quickly finish your work. As my mentors are astronomers by profession - they remain quite busy in their work & conferences. So I've learned that it is OK to wait (get involved in something other than this project) before you hear back from them, even if it takes a day. But that is for sure that they do follow up when they become free. So keep patience & stay calm!


Thank you for reading. I'll get back to you next week with my new experience & exciting learnings. Stay tuned!

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Summer Begins!

Published: 05/27/2019

So after 3 weeks when GSoC'19 results were announced, Coding Period has finally arrived - the Summer of Google Summer of Code has began!
It had been an incredible journey so far, with lots of learnings and lot of struggles. What was a dream for me in Jan'19, became an unbelievable reality at May 6 (the D-day when results were declared). It was a thrilling experience for me, a Sophomore, to get selected in GSoC'19 at PSF, who just stepped into Python last year. I've shared this exciting journey from my dream till reality in a dedicated article:

Besides being Pythonista, I'm an Astronomy enthusiast, that's why I chose the PSF SubOrg - StarKit: A Python package for Stellar spectroscopy. This Summer, I'll be developing interactive analytical interfaces to visualize the Filter Curves of our package wsynphot. These interfaces will not only be able to auto-generate the Filter Curves but will also calculate the Photometry of Stars. The purpose is to make it easier for Astronomers to access the info they want within couple of clicks. Sounds cool! Right?

You can find details of my project idea at GSoC 2019 Projects page and package I'll be working upon i.e. wsynphot on GitHub page of StarKit. Within the Community Bonding Period (last 3 weeks), I was busy in my exams but I still managed to attend a Video Telecon with my mentors to discuss about a multiple things, from working in Community to the interesting work my mentors are doing in the field of Astronomy. They are really cool people - one of them is researching on Supernovae and another on nuclei of Galaxies & Black Holes!

As the Coding Period has began from today, I'm pumped up to start working on my project; to learn lot of things by implementing them - the real essence of Open Source. And Astronomy is already fueling my excitement! Stay tuned with me for this exciting journey, more posts to come. :D

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