December 8, 2020

“GNOME has been my favorite”

Clarissa Lima Borges started in GNOME as an intern, and has continued to be an active member of the community. We are able to have interns, including those through Outreachy, thanks to support we receive from donations and our Friends of GNOME. Learn more about how you can get involved.

I am a GNOME contributor, Foundation member, former Outreachy Intern and former Google Summer of Code (GSoC) student. As an Outreachy intern, I worked on usability research for GNOME programs like Calendar, Gedit, Settings, Nautilus, and Notes. After my internship, I continued in the GNOME community and later took part in GSoC, where I started development of the UI library for GNOME’s web ecosystem.

GNOME has been my favorite desktop environment since I started using Linux. As an undergraduate student I used it to study and develop my projects. It has been my long term friend. When I applied to Outreachy, I saw that there was a project for UX research on GNOME and it was the perfect opportunity for me to help a project that I love and also to learn about usability.

When my internship ended, I had the chance to go to GUADEC, the GNOME conference, and give a talk about my internship. I was very happy that so many people were excited about what I did. Everyone was very nice and it made me want to continue in the community and contribute more.

Because of my Outreachy internship with GNOME, I learned that usability tests are valuable contributions and they can help open source projects to improve their interface and, consequently, have more users. So, in my undergraduate thesis, I proposed a contribution guide and an issue for complete and easy usability tests for open source projects.

Currently, I am finishing my bachelors degree in Software Engineering, and working at a company that creates solutions to help people, which makes me very happy. I am also organizing a mentorship program in Brazil to introduce FOSS to people underrepresented in tech. In Brazil, open source communities are very small because many people don’t have the opportunity to start or they face language barriers. Our goal is to create a safe space for those people to learn.

In GNOME, I learned a lot about communities, cooperative work, and how to be people oriented. These skills drew my employer’s attention. The most important thing I learned in the GNOME community is to be confident about my skills and that I have something to add, even in a big project like GNOME. I can’t even estimate how valuable this is for me.