In this post, I'll be explaining a bit of what we do as part of this project. In addition, I'll be explaining (to some degree) what Fedora is and how this project ties in.

What Is Fedora?

Fedora is the independent project that organizes and develops the Fedora Linux Disribution. As a project, Fedora covers more than just the production of a single Linux distribution, it also encompasses several related projects and communities based around the Fedora Linux distribution. This includes Fedora Badges, which is the project which I'm participating in as part of my Outreachy Internship.

The Fedora Linux distribution is a free, open source, operating system based on the Linux kernel. Anyone can use Fedora, on personal computers, servers, mini-PCs, and more. Of course, an operating system is much more than a collection of software - it's a collection of projects, communities, and passionate people who make the software experience possible.

Who Works On Fedora? Who is Fedora For?

In a nutshell, everyone! True to the nature of open source software, anyone can contribute, just as anyone can use it. There's no advantage to being from any particular group, because everyone pitches in where they are willing and able. As volunteers, contributors are not obligated to do anything they don't want to or can't do, but the beauty is, you get to learn and grow into new areas where you may not previously have had experience. For instance, you can learn design despite not being a designer, or programming and kernel development having previously not been a programmer (or kernel developer, for that matter). The beauty is, you don't have to be a contributor to be an end user. That's the power of community.

What Are Fedora Badges?

In some open source communities, badges have been adopted as a means of recognizing and rewarding contributions and activities pertaining to the respective projects. Fedora Badges are no different, they're a means of recognizing contributions to the Fedora Project and its various subprojects and communities.

What Does This Outreachy Project Consist Of?

For this internship, we're working on modernizing Fedora Badges: moving badges to their new templates, improving any existing badges that need it, and recreating older badges that no longer have their source files available. Additionally, we're working on updated and new documentation and resources to assist individuals who work on the Fedora Badges project. It's a lot of work, but it's not overwhelming!

Primarily, we work with the premier Open Source application for vector graphics, Inkscape - along with Google Sheets (for organizing our work), and a number of Open Source tools and protocols (Matrix/Element, Pagure, Jitsi, and more).

In a nutshell, the work looks like this:

  • Cataloging the various badges, according to their categories, and whether they need to be updated.
  • Finding and sorting all badge design sources.
  • Moving existing badge designs with minimal or no required changes to new templates.
  • Making changes to outdated badge designs, or designs which need changes to fit the new templates.
  • Communicating with our mentors to get feedback and see if there are changes to be made.
  • Marking approved designs, for preparation to pass them on to the wider community.

Although we have not yet pushed new badge designs to the Fedora Badges Pagure (git-based tracker system), we will be doing so as part of our internship in the near future. I'm excited to see my work elevated to the level of a live, real-life contribution!

What Stands Out About This Project For Me?

I've been designing using open source software for quite some time, but there's always room to learn and room to grow. Working on this project has provided me with the opportunity to learn new styles and skills, get tips and advice from our mentors, and even learn from my fellow intern. I'm especially glad to be working in the more "cartoonish" style of Fedora Badges, a style which previously hasn't been my strongest forte, being more of a realist in my design prerogative.

Of course, what makes any project truly exceptional, is the people involved, and both the mentors and members of the broader community have been wonderful to work with and learn from. We have regular meetings (twice-weekly with our mentors, and once a month with the wider Fedora Badges community), and we have been able to attend events such as the Fedora 38 release event and more. This coming month, we'll also be presenting our work to the wider team, giving us an opportunity to practice more than just design skills - but speaking and presenting - which can come in quite handy in preparing for larger events.

For me, what this project shows, is that we can contribute and learn from Open Source software and the Open Source community without needing to be developers or contribute via code. There's truly a place for everyone! Even if you are a developer (myself being a web designer and working in frontend development), you don't have to code in order to contribute. It's kind of like an opportunity to "let your hair down" in one sense, while working hard and being quite productive in another.

For anyone looking to get into Open Source and participate in an Outreachy internship, I would strongly recommend considering Fedora Badges.

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