Skip to main content

Mentoring a Project in Kharagpur Winter of Code

The Kharagpur Winter of Code is an annual five week long program where students new or unknown to free and open-source software contribute to coding projects registered in the program by experienced mentors or project owners and gain experience in contributing to open source software.

All credit to the JOOS (JODC and OSDC) folks for introducing me to the program. I liked what the program was about and had my fingers crossed throughout the year, looking forward to participate when the time came. Someone did post about the program a week prior to its start and sure I was reminded, yes, but since this is endsem exams season, one shall be excused.

And then, one day…

Can’t blame me for not reminding the exam timeline but the day I’m talking about here was (or atleast what should’ve been haha :wink:) a day of great stress for someone who’s used to putting-off work till the last moment. idk like 3 days before first exam maybe. As I sat there in the college library, laptop on, I get a text from OsBins if I could quickly put up an Instagram story from OSDC’s InstaGram account, It took an attosecond, an attosecond for me to register that information and another to realise that winter is here. I checked and it was the last day for applying as mentor and I quickly pulled up some of the personal projects I had been working on as of late. DeGrasse was the obvious choice, cleaned the ol’ fella up a bit. The entire world will be watching him now. Don’t want to look too unprofesh, went ahead and registered the Discord bot.

Author’s note to self: please start drafting the MVP first, bc details ke chakkar me saari energy shuru ke paras me hi nikal jaati hai Future Author’s note to self: phew don’t worry, it’s a good thing to cringe on previous self okay this is good it means you’ve um grown now okay


The experience on the whole was very much fun. Set-up a Discord server for communication. People joined. Discussed about all the features we could implement in the bot (most of which are still to-be implemented), shitposted (on occasion) and just got to know each other better. This was, by far, the best part of the program for me. I got the chance to interact with people I wouldn’t have much reason to do so with and I’m extremely glad I did!

Most contributors weren’t as familiar with python and contributing to open-source. Non-Code contributions really helped here with getting a good idea of the whole setting up git -> forking & cloning -> staging, commiting and pushing -> PR process while also being super-accessible to everyone. The contributors pointed out issues and suggestions they came across as they set-up the project and got familiar with the codebase. Everyone’s exam timelines were a major pain-in-the-uh-bash but I’m extremely proud that everyone was able to make a code contribution as well, however minor.