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Expanding the idea of open source contribution

icncsx profile image DH Kim ・2 min read

For whatever reason, people are fixated on the rigid idea that open source contributing means writing code that gets merged into a code base. That's not true.

Here are other ways you can contribute!

Make a feature request

Maintainers largely build their product around the suggestions of the community. If you're using something and you have an idea for a new feature, please vocalize.

Make an issue request

Maintainers need your help to spot new issues. If you find an issue, please don't ignore them. Report them! Everyone's going to thank you.


There's tons of room to contribute in this area because many projects are quite liberal with their testing standards. If you find an area you want to test, please write tests for them. I have rarely seen a test-related PR get rejected.

Improve docs

Yes, they are not perfect. Sometimes, they can even be incomprehensible. It's your chance to raise the issue and improve the documentation.

Translate Docs

It is true: the React core team does not know 26 different languages (😂). If you know a language other than English, great! You can improve the accessibility of the project.


Teaching IMO is the most underrated way of contributing to an open source project. All of these activities go under teaching:

  • Answering a question on StackOverflow
  • Writing a blog post
  • Recording a tutorial on YouTube
  • Speaking at a meet-up
  • Going on the help section of a Slack channel and answering any questions

The grand take-away is that you probably contributed to an open source project, but you haven't noticed because of an antiquated view that contributing means writing code that gets merged. You are all contributing in one way or another, and I appreciate you all for doing so. Keep it up, and happy coding (🥳)!


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icncsx profile

DH Kim


Software engineer interested in cloud computing and serverless backend services.


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This was excellent! Thanks for posting. Favorite one is the first one - making feature requests. Especially for projects in Beta.