Continuing conversations about fellowships/Internships in open Source Design

Hey folks - casting ‘revive’ on this thread as I managed to have another chat with Sage over at Outreachy.

So I think it’s feasible to do the 1 designer + 1 developer on a project together as an internship if we could fund the designer plus a smaller portion of the developer. This part we can clarify with Outreachy and the projects that are interested in the designer + developer combo.

I want to honor that the community voted that this is what we want to spend our open collective funds on and move us forward if we can to testing this idea. I know that $6k+ is still a significant chunk of our funds but i think that outreachy’s support will overall make a lot of the logistics smoother. I’m also asking/looking into what of my work hours over at Simply Secure could be offered in support of helping co-ordinate this effort that can then be combo’d with my volunteer hours.

I would love to put together a small team of OSS designers here (and others if you wanna spread the word) that can really make this happen to get the proof of concept for design + developer internships in OSS a reality.

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Did you (or anyone else) try to speak to orgs to get the developer funded from another source than our funds?

Hi Hadi! If you’re interested in an internship with Quansight (a company focused on open source Python libraries), we currently do not have any design internship available with an open source project. I will update this thread if we do, Quansight’s internship season is usually middle of the year.

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I think this internship discussion was brought up a few OSD community calls ago, in the June OSD call. There was mentions of working on a document about developing these possible internships in more detail, but I haven’t talked about internships since.

I’ve spoken briefly in the September OSD call about the possibility of funding open source design with grants or companies in the Scientific Python space, such as with the NumFOCUS Small Development Grant. NumFOCUS provides funding and support for Sponsored Projects, such as NumPy, SciPy, pandas, etc. In this framework, there are specific projects we could connect to.

I can’t guarantee anything but there is interest, based on my comics, so there’s interest for similar work.

Hello, I want to revive this!

I talked to someone about the idea and what they think it would need to make it work in their organization. Here are the main points, and most boil down to having clear ideas and requirements that can shape the internship so it is helpful for interns and org as well as for showing one’s boss/org that it is worthwhile doing.

Things to clarify

  • Clarify duration, compensation and time-per-week (should/can we model it on outreachy and just take their conditions?)
  • Clarify how the intern would be chosen: Selection process and criteria
  • Define how the collaboration would looke like: What are things they need to do? What are things that are not important to us.
  • In general, make shure that the participant is supported and safe and communicating how we want to ensure this to all involved parties.

Mode of internship:

  • In this case, getting 3 month of developer time would be hard to do; the participant could be embedded in a design team that works with the orgs developers. I think this is also ok, but the original dev-designer idea was that both intern at the same time. However, that adds additional complexity if the org does not run their own internship program already.

If I read correctly, there was the idea of working with outreachy, correct? (@Erioldoesdesign seemed to know more, could you update me?)

One idea from the convesation was the use some fund money to create the conditions and sync them back to the OSD community (e.g. asking superbloom if we could pay them to do that); I guess that is not an easy or fun volunteer task (In general: We might need to put money in the internship and in the stuff-around-the-internship to make it work well)

bumping this thread!

Who’s interested in a working group? we had a series of tasks that individuals took on but we should think about not having single point of ‘failures’ for tasks given volunteer nature


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Hey everyone, I am Akshay a Product Designer with a 9 years of experience in Design as well as in Development. I previously contributed in wordpress project as Developer now I want to contribute In Design space. Open for design tasks

I would be interested in taking part in a working group.

However, I also think we should at least tentatively consider revising the idea of offering a fellowship – it turned out quite complex and never took off despite our efforts.

I mean if i’m being very honest I think the reasons it didn’t take off were internal governance reasons and there were some actions some folks didn’t follow up on. I agree maybe the problem was that we ourselves as a group don’t have unpaid capacity to investigate options as throughly as some want to and we’re nervous about spending the bulk of our raised funds (even though they are doing anything sat in our open collective)

I think we as a group were also nervous about the overheads of mentoring the designer that gets placed in a fellowship/internship with an org re. time and capacity - which is why it’d be good to reassess support from designers paid at orgs already to see if they can have their orgs donate their time for mentoring on this.

I agree revising is needed but also I think this points to some critical errr needs? issues? complications? with how as a OSS community collective group we decide to spend money beyond a ‘small’ (small not having a definition here but most likely under $300) on a initiative/work that isn’t an outright ‘purchase’