Becoming a better community with Outreachy

Suricata is a high-performance, worldwide-known open-source network analysis and threat detection software. For fourteen years, we have been helping private and public organizations protect their assets, making their networks and systems more secure. To us from the Suricata and OISF team making our networks and communities safer is also connected to making them more diverse and inclusive. We are proud to dedicate ourselves to that, year after year.

One of the ways we found to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion is by supporting the Outreachy initiative. This awesome 13-year-old program that offers 3-month paid and mentored internships 2 times a year for underrepresented folks in open-source and open-science communities just celebrated 1000 interns! (Watch their keynote at FOSDEM 2024 about this huge milestone: https://fosdem.org/2024/schedule/event/fosdem-2024-2522-outreachy-1000-interns/).

We recently wrapped up another round of participation in Outreachy (you can watch the webinar with our alumni Hadiqa Alamdar and Daniel Eniola on YouTube). Kudos to all involved, especially Hadiqa and Eniola, and thanks to all our co-mentors (Shivani Bhardwaj, Juliana Fajardini, Philippe Antoine, Jason Ish, Victor Julien)👏 🎉!!

To us, it is always a positive challenge to be a part of Outreachy. A challenge because it means we have to constantly strive to be accessible to newcomers from different backgrounds, geographical locations, and time zones: in our documentation, issues, examples, when answering questions and reviewing pull requests. But it is a positive one, as we get to be better as a community due to those very reasons, and we are exposed to different realities and ways of approaching things – so we learn from those. We also get to incorporate what we learn into our interactions and work culture.

Also, but definitely not less importantly, by supporting Outreachy we get the chance to be a part of the changes we want to see: we believe our communities and tech spaces should be more diverse and look more like our world. And Suricata alumni are all around: winning prizes; pursuing Master’s and PhDs in prestigious programs worldwide; and working in computers for the future.

Outreachy applicants and alumni that joined Suricata come from Brazil, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Sri Lanka, Sudan, United States. Some of them have moved from their countries, and are pursuing studies or working in Finland, France, in the United States. One of them even joined the OISF team to become their Community Coordinator with Outreachy (me, Juliana! :D).

Above all that: they are there for each other, in an ever-growing and diverse support network that spreads from the United States to India, from Brazil to Finland, embracing Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria…