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That time I contributed to Scala Exercises website

isabelcmdcosta profile image Isabel Costa Originally published at ・3 min read

As a beginner in contributing to open source, you might not be sure of how to start contributing. I want to tell you about a contribution I have made to an open source project I used.

Often I explain to people who want to start contributing, that they can look into projects they already use. This is what I did when I contributed to website content.

Identifying a potential contribution

I was working through FP IN SCALA exercises, from "Functional Programming in Scala" book, in particular, I was doing the Property Based Testing section.

I noticed there was a typo where the syntax for the scala language was incorrect. Instead of showing ||, which means logical or in Scala, it was showing \\ that does not show correctly what it should be.

I also noticed that one of the exercises' numbers was incorrect, in this case appearing duplicate. So instead of showing exercise 8.17 it was showing 8.18 when referring to problems from 8.17 section.

Looking how to contribute

So once I found what I could improve on the website, I looked at the project's contribution guidelines and noticed that the process was fairly simple and there was no requirement for creating an issue before sending a pull request (PR).

So I decided to create a pull request to it, one for each change since they address different concerns.

I checked where the code I was supposed to change lived, so I could make the change. This was fairly easy because the page with the exercises had a link to the file on the respective repository that hosts the code. This was visible in an "Edit exercises" button at the bottom of the page, as well as a "View on GitHub" button on the top of the page. You can check the page I changes here.


I clicked the link, which took me to the file I need to change. At this point, I started the process of contributing. I forked the repository - creating a copy of the repository on my GitHub account. Then since the changes were fairly simple, I did not have to clone the repository to my development environment, I did the change using GitHub GUI (graphical user interface). There I edited the file then created the branch and committed the changes.

After changing the code, I submitted the pull requests for my changes.

Eventually, one of the maintainers thanked me and merged my PRs. I also get to be in contributors mention in the page I changed :)

So as you see, I fixed 2 typos that improved the content of the website. My change helped the page content be more clear, to someone using the project. I loved doing this contribution.

You can find me on Twitter, GitHub and my personal website.

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