Episode 8

Kartik Choudhary on MLH Fellowships and Design


September 21st, 2021

27 mins 11 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Kartik Choudhary


Memo Esparza | Eriol Fox | Perrie Ojemeh

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. Today, our special guest is Kartik Choudhary, who is a Front-End Web Application and Design Engineer, with a focus on progressive enhancements and creativity. Kartik worked on Facebook’s React project through the MLH Fellowship and he tells us all about that today. He shares his ideas for ways Fellowship programs could be designed differently, being a mentor for students, the effects that contributions to open source has done to his career, and a blog he wrote about it. Also, Kartik tells us about a Developer Folio he is working on that is in dire state of needing design contributions. Find out how you can help and download this episode to find out much more!

[00:01:24] Kartik tells us all about himself, what he does, and how he worked on Facebook’s React project through the MLH Fellowship. He goes in depth what he did there and what he took away from that experience.

[00:04:41] Eriol asks Kartik to talk about what it was like going into a Fellowship and what kind of conversations did he have around design or conversations you had to run the design aspects of open source within the fellowship. Also, if there were any other people with design knowledge there and if his mentors knew much about the process of adding design in the open design process.

[00:07:08] Memo wonders what kind of resources Kartik relies on most in terms of design work, and Kartik talks about the program being more focused on developing and coding.

[00:10:00] Find out from Kartik if he could have the fellowships be a certain way, how would he design these programs.

[00:12:01] We learn Kartik’s thoughts on how to make a collaboration on the projects accessible for everyone, and he talks about being a mentor.

[00:14:21] Kartik tells us about the first moment when he started to really get into the design side of things and learn more.

[00:15:56] Kartik mentions that he realized that the user experience was poor on websites he built, and Memo wonders what hints he found showing that it wasn’t right.

[00:16:58] Perrie wonders what effects does Kartik think that contributions to open source has done to his career, and he explains a blog he wrote called, “Building a Developer Profile using Open Source.”

[00:19:37] Eriol wonders how we can communicate to designers about the potentials of open source for their portfolio and how would Kartik start to convince a designer to contribute to an open source project.

[00:21:51] Learn about a design portfolio that Kartik’s been working on that’s in a dire state of needing design contributions.


[00:03:50] “So, it was apart from being mentorship experience, it was a collaborative experience which kind of made it a lot better than the usual programs.”

[00:11:16] “I think similar programs should also exist for onboarding design students to projects so this would create sort of like a healthy community in open source software so design beginners can also feel they’re included and that they’re contributing.”

[00:18:34] "I think building a career or building a portfolio through open source should also be an option to designers.”

[00:22:35] “In general, just hang around in developer communities, even if there are small ones, there are generally a lot of passionate people who are, you know, just willing to work on a project together, and there are a lot of them.”

[00:23:49] “Like you said, designers have to internally infiltrate groups. I think that is the current state of things, but it doesn’t have to be that way.”

[00:23:58] “So, the more open source design mentorship programs, or if you push design into current mentorship programs, I think the more students are going to become normalized with having designers on their team, and the students are going to be probably the next open source maintainers.”


  • [00:24:42] Kartik’s spotlight is a project he’s maintaining called Developer Folio.
  • [00:25:14] Eriol’s spotlight is Patternfly.org.
  • [00:25:59] Memo’s spotlight is Coop Design system and their Design principles.


Open Source Design Twitter

Open Source Design

Sustain Design & UX working group

Sustain Open Source Twitter

Memo Esparza Twitter

Eriol Fox Twitter

Perrie Ojemeh Twitter

Kartik Choudhary Twitter

Kartik Choudhary Linkedin

Kartik Choudhary Website

“Building a Developer Profile using Open Source,” by Kartik Choudhary

Open Source Design Jobs

Software Developer Folio


Coop Design system-Design principles