It is one month since the Google Code-in started and I started working on tasks for OpenMRS. So, now is the time to share my experience.
If you do only one thing in Google Code-in, it should be joining the community and their chat.
I always wanted to learn programming, but I never have enough time or motivation to work on something bigger than a few lines of code. But that changed with the GCI, my goal was to make 3 tasks. I admit that when it started, I wasn’t really sure if I will be able to complete at least one task. That’s the reason why my first task was related to HTML and CSS, which I know from earlier when I made few web pages.
My first task was related to Open Web Apps Module and creating a table of apps sorting by name. And it wasn’t so easy how I expected at first, but after a lot of research I find a pretty quick solution. And in the end my biggest problem was using git, but thanks to the quick help from one of mentors and good documentation on OpenMRS (https://wiki.openmrs.org/display/docs/Using+Git) I figured out a basic workflow in git. With a good feeling from first task I continued to other user interface related tasks.
When get over 5 tasks I get more confidence on some “harder” task. So I go on some error fixing. And it wasn’t so hard how it looks at the start (maybe I solve only easy mistakes). But at least I learn more about git and squashing commits. I was still doing graphic related tasks like splash screen for iOS client or banner for OpenMRS, but also I started more looking for coding tasks.
The task which really push me forward was: Creating Open web app for searching patient using rest calls. I don’t know anything about REST calls. But it turns out to be really interesting topic and when I finish the web app I was really proud of myself.
Because I am a very competitive person I was looking for something even more challenging also I have holidays I go for Developing a Windows Phone app for OpenMRS. I spend three days in a row, creating and researching stuff around Windows apps. I create Windows Universal App so it should work on any resolution and it works even on Windows 10. There is still a lot to improve (from time to time I push some new changes to it) but I am quite happy with my work.
After one month I must say that it was worth it. And yes the most important thing is to join the chat with others because they can help you and motivate you to do your best. Also you will enjoy working with people who are doing what they love.