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CONTRIBUTING: Chrissy LeMaire on PowerShell dba tools

Leading up to (and during) the month of October, we want to help you discover open source projects to work on, and put your Hacktoberfest contributions to excellent use. Meet Chrissy LeMaire, the creator and maintainer of dbatools. Chrissy is a dual Microsoft MVP, and GitHub Star.

Check out this page regularly for more interviews with contributors & maintainers

What can you tell us about your project?
dbatools is a PowerShell toolkit for the SQL Server community. It takes boring day-to-day tasks and makes it a ton of fun. Even tedious tasks like migrations, where you're migrating one entire instance to the other, dbatools takes that and zips it down to one line of code. I've been told it makes people's jobs more enjoyable.

When it comes to the contributing side, we make it a point to be as welcoming as possible, offer help with Git and GitHub... It's not just a toolkit for SQL Server, it's also a toolkit for the community.

What contributions are you welcoming?
We're looking for a number of contributions, to documentation for instance, or adding presentations. When it comes to the source code there are additions that can be made - we just got a request for more auditing within SQL Server, and also SQL Server replication is a big feature set that our tool is missing - so if anyone has the experience to contribute there, that would be very welcome!

What skills do people need to contribute?
There are 2 types of skills sets that are needed - if you're a beginner then it'd probably be PowerShell, T-SQL, and Git. When it comes to Git I can totally recommend GitHub Desktop. When you go after the more advanced PowerShell programming, you're going to want to know the SMO API provided by Microsoft (SQL Server Management Objects, a .NET Framework object model).

How do folks get started?
To get started you will want to install VS Code, and clone our repository, using GitHub Desktop, or VS Code - we include a .vscode folder in our repository, allowing you to use all the settings that we require: things like code formatting, tabs vs spaces.

Join us on the SQL community Slack at, then join the #dbatools-dev channel, where we can walk you through any design questions you may have, or any types of questions regarding contributing to the project.

Check regularly for more interviews with contributors & maintainers, as well as online events to help you get involved in open source.

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Timeless DEV post...

How to write a kickass README

Arguably the single most important piece of documentation for any open source project is the README. A good README not only informs people what the project does and who it is for but also how they use and contribute to it.

If you write a README without sufficient explanation of what your project does or how people can use it then it pretty much defeats the purpose of being open source as other developers are less likely to engage with or contribute towards it.