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Open source contribution for beginners?!

coreyrodgers95 profile image corey rodgers ใƒป1 min read

Hi! I'm an amateur developer looking for a starting point to begin contributing to open source projects, I have a reasonable understanding of OOP

I work as a web assistant for a university in the UK so currently use Bootstrap, ASP.NET, HTML, Javascript, and CSS confidently on a daily basis.

Currently studying React along with topping up on ES6 and using other frameworks such as PixiJS.

I've also used VB.net, C#, and Python at an amateur level

I'd like to start very simple and work my way up in complexity and build my experience in helping out and improving my development skills.

I have a background in Games Development (UDK and Unity) so helping out with something along those lines would also appeal to me!

Are there any recommendations for projects I can easily get stuck in to?

Thanks in advance guys!

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coreyrodgers95 profile

corey rodgers


Passionate about technology, Web Dev beginner, Experienced Networking professional


markdown guide

Are there any open source projects you use in any of the work you do? That's a good place to start. Occasionally, I'll look at dependencies in projects I'm working on and see if they have any issues I could help with. It's a good way to give back.

Also, contributions don't need to be large or complex. I've made contributions where the only thing I helped with is to fix some spelling mistakes or fix typos in documentation.

Some general advice when you want to make a contribution:

  • Start by thanking the author(s) of the project. It always helps to be nice.
  • Read their contribution guidelines. Most projects have one. For example, some projects don't accept new features.
  • If you're unsure if they'd accept a change, open an issue and propose your change. Ask them if it's something they'd be interested in.
  • If you find a bug, submitting an issue with a failing test case helps. Then if they ask if you have time to fix it, you're already on your way.
  • Try to be available to communicate in a somewhat timely manner. Sometimes a pull request might go back and forth through a few rounds of changes. Timely communication helps and makes the process easier for everyone.
  • Follow the conventions laid out by the project. If they write tests a certain way, try to follow that instead of your own style.
  • When you open a pull request, try to explain as much as possible. If the project has a pull request template, follow that.
  • In general, be nice and easy to work with. No open source maintainer is going to get mad at you for being nice.

Good luck! Contributing to open source is a worthwhile endeavor. If you make it something you do regularly, you'll have a handful of contributions one day.


These are really good recommendations ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ


I will have work in the next month of two for beginners, I am currently working on document the procedure for fixes.

you can look at this:


Thats a great list.


That would be great if we could keep in touch regarding it?

I'll check out the list now thanks for the link!


I will DM you / message you on Dev when its ready or keep and eye on the posts regarding who has open source contributions. Good luck for now



Make some contributions to docs and you'll

  • learn web APIs
  • learn github etiquette
  • help others

Well when I tried look at Opensource (like for React), typical instructions are

  1. Fork the repo
  2. npm install

And so what's Next??? :D

Now I understand, it's a lot of work. So hope to do better for my future opensource project at grafcet.online: I'll document every program with diagrams made with herself so that even absolute beginners can understand all the code without spending weeks trying to decipher the maze ;) In fact that's of the very purpose of this tool. I'll also use it to document other Opensource projects.


You can try increasing test coverage and upgrading outdated dependencies on a library or tool you are familiar with. Maintainers are usually open to these less obtrusive contributions.


Yeah that's helpfull, will probably use it when I'll be ready in a few months :)