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losing opportunities

Things don’t always go as planned, but it doesn’t mean they go wrong. Let me clarify.

Provocation

An email I got in August.

Hey, Damir –

Congratulations! We would like to invite you to become one the Fellows in our upcoming batch of the program. We are particularly excited to let you know that you’ve been selected to participate in our inaugural GitHub Externship program, in which you’ll be working with project managers and engineers from within GitHub on the open and inner source software powering GitHub.com itself. While we haven’t publicly announced this program yet (we expect to do so very soon), we wanted to get you the good news quickly since you’ve been such an exceptional candidate. Only 22 fellows will be selected for this highly selective program, and we want you to be one of them!

An email I got today, two days before the start of the program.

Greetings Damir,

We have an important update for you on your offer of admission to the GitHub Externship, as well as an action step we need from you.

We have recently learned that, due to an unexpected change in organizational resources at GitHub, the externship project that you had been assigned to has been cancelled. We no longer have a seat in the GitHub Externship for you

Reaction

I could be sad. I had all the reasons. I lost all of this today:

  • The opportunity to work and learn from a company whose product I use daily
  • The chance to work alongside top-industry developers powering open-source projects around the world
  • The spotlight to land a summer internship
  • The social circle with other 21 fellows

But instead, I regard it as a happy coincidence because of these reasons:

  • Working with GitHub would involve the type of web-development I’m not a big fan of
    • Learning a new framework for me, Ruby on Rails would be a complete detour off my way to a career I want
    • I interviewed with a person from GitHub to see if our interests match, but there was an obvious mismatch.
  • I want to work with data
    • My next goal is to find a Summer 2022 internship where I can apply Data Science and Software Engineering skills to build things with data
    • I have a sense my work with GitHub wouldn’t involve much data-driven decisions and improvements

Action

Major League Hacking is a fair player when it comes to treating interns/fellows as people. Instead, they offered me to join a different track, working on an Open-Source project that is used by thousands.

BentoML Logo

BentoML is a flexible, high-performance framework for serving, managing, and deploying machine learning models.

It serves as a way to set up a production level code with Data Science and DevOps principles. They work with all major frameworks like Tensorflow and PyTorch.

It is a much better fit to my interest in Machine Learning and getting more skills in Data Science than developing website features at GitHub1

Reflection

So even though getting kicked out rejected from the GitHub Externship this semester wasn’t anticipated, things still went well for me.

I just hope this will help someone who is looking for a little inspiration. Change of plan is usually meant to be.

Edit

I’m currently two weeks into my Open Source Fellowship experience with BentoML. Working on this project is so inspiring, and I couldn’t wish for anything more.

Truly makes me glad that things turned out this way.


  1. Although I’m sure they have departments doing Data Science.