Becoming a Debian Maintainer in 90 days!

I started contributing to open source around a year back and on 1st January 2019 to Debian, specifically (wasn’t really a new year resolution, though :P).
I’ll be honest here. The reason behind taking the “Debian road” was solely to distract myself from the mental abuse I was going through.

Raju was the person who started helping me out, both, personally and professionally. He’s the one who taught me packaging from scratch with utmost patience and kept answering all my stupid doubts :D
To be honest, if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have been here, at this position today.

Since I wanted to distract myself from various stuff, I learned things quickly and kept working, consistently.
I turned up on IRC every single day since then. Praveen became both, my guru and my package sponsorer. He kept uploading and I kept packaging. This went on for a month until my difficulty level was bumped. From basic Ruby gems and Node libraries, I was given gems and modules that had test failures to debug and had a weirdly different build system. This made me uncomfortable. I complained. To which, Praveen said and I quote,

“If you want to keep working on simple stuff, then it’s not going to help you move forward. And it’s your loss. No one else would care. So it’s your call.“`

There was probably no option there, isn’t it? :P
I took it on. Struggled for a few days but it became normal and I made it through. Like they say, “it gets better”, it indeed did!
I took a little more challenging things, understood more concepts. Fixed test failures, RC bugs and learned a lot of things (still a lot, lot more to learn, though) in the process, like understanding about the Debian release cycle, how the migration of package takes place, setting up my own repositories, et al.

In this process, I also met another JS guru, Xavier.
He did not only corrected my mistakes and sponsored my packages, but also helped me in actually understanding a lot of things. From the mailing list, we started conversing over private mail threads and soon, in a span of 3 months, the thread stretched over to 300 mails! :x

In early March, I was told that I could apply for the position of the Debian Maintainer, if only I understood the process of when to upload a package to experimental and when to unstable. I was given a few packages as a test by Praveen for the same.
And “luckily”, I passed. This meant that the only part remaining was to fulfil the initial keysigning requirement. For which, there was a MiniDebConf, Delhi around the corner.

As it happened, Praveen, Abhijith, and Sruthi (all DDs) came to the MiniDebConf from Kerala and I got my keys signed by them! :D
Soon after, I applied for becoming a DM.

I was lucky enough to get 3 advocates, Praveen, Xavier, and Abhijith.
Here’s my NM Process (#605) for reference.
And in a few days, I realized that I became the youngest Debian Maintainer in India \o/

Edit: I was later told at DC19 that I was the youngest DM in the entire commmunity! :o

Lastly, I thank myself for being consistent, for turning up no matter what, and for not giving up!
Also, much thanks to Sanyam. He really kept me going. Also to Cocoa and Sakshi.

Lastly, thanks to the entire Debian community. Debian has really been an amazing journey, an amazing place, and an amazing family.
I am just hoping to make it to DebConf and meet all the people I adore \o/

Until next time.
:wq for today.