Making your first pull request is definitely daunting. Whether you are taking part in some open source program or not, there are multiple things that go through your mind while making it. This blog is my experience and everything I learnt.
I made my first PR through an open source program, so I was given a basic format in which we had to document everything. Now, I was familiar with putting my personal projects on GitHub, but I had never tried to make a contribution. Making the appropriate documentation/files wasn’t too hard for me, sure I had my doubts on whether it was good enough and I was ‘qualified’ enough to contribute, but with lots of research and my basic knowledge of the topic got me through it somehow.
The part which I procrastinated the most was making the PR. I had this mental block of creating a PR and had somewhere decided that it would be very complicated. As someone who’s still new to open-source, let me tell you, it is not! It is actually one of the easiest parts of contributing (if not the easiest!).
Another huge learning for me was patience. Having worked only on personal projects, I never had to think about others’ views too much. I would ask a few people to review my project once but that was it. When making contributions, we need to consider that it is not our project, we are only fixing a bug or adding something to an entire project of theirs. They may have different expectations from as simple files as README files or the documentation or whatever it is you are contributing to. Something that looks okay to you, may not look so to your mentor/supervisor/maintainer. Instead of taking it negatively, try to understand what they expect and tweak your files accordingly.
Taking part in an open source program has helped me grow a lot, and I would definitely recommend you to try it out! The best part about it is, there is always something you can contribute to. Giving back to a community that has given us so much is such an amazing feeling, made me feel so grateful to everyone who has directly/indirectly helped me. Yes, it is a little scary, but once you make your first PR, there is no going back!
Here are a few articles that helped me to understand the process better:
I hope this gave you a brief idea on how it is to make your first PR.
If there are any tips you would like to share, please leave a comment!
Until next time, Happy Coding! :))