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JF Melo
JF Melo

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7 Best Ways You Can Contribute to Open-Source Projects

There are several ways to contribute to open-source projects, even if you are not a developer.

Whether open-source or not, a project is much more than code. A successful project requires code, documentation, visual artifacts, translations, planning, management, etc.

A network of volunteers with a diversified skillset builds and maintains open-source projects. Anyone can join the network and become a contributor, even those less experienced.

No matter what you choose to do, your contribution is much appreciated by the community. Here are the 7 ways you can contribute to open-source projects even if you are not a developer:

1. Report bugs and suggest improvements

Screenshot of the GitHub issues of the React project<br>

Reporting bugs or suggesting new features to the project’s issue tracker is a great way to contribute to open-source projects. This helps developers to prioritize the issues and plan future improvements.

2. Documentation

Screenshot of the documentation of Twitter’s Community Notes project

Good documentation is essential to the success of any project and it is one of the easiest ways of contributing.

You can contribute by writing and editing the project’s documentation, user manuals, tutorials, or API. It is also fine to fix minor typos as long as you make sure that no one else is already fixing the same typo.

3. Translation

Screenshot of the language selection of React’s documentation

Many open-source projects have users from all over the world. If you are fluent in a language other than the project’s language, you can help translate the project’s user interface, documentation, or website.

4. Testing

Screenshot of FiveSurge homepage simulating Samsung Galaxy S8 resolution<br>

Testing is a critical part of any software development project. You can help by testing and reporting any bugs you find.

Even if you are not a professional tester you still can help by testing the project on different OS, browsers, devices, etc.

5. Code contributions

Screenshot of a merged GitHub pull request

If you are a developer, you can contribute code to the project. You can start by fixing minor bugs or implementing small features.

6. Design

Screenshot of the Google Material theming guidelines

Open-source projects need good design as well. If you have skills in graphic design or UI/UX, you can contribute by designing logos, icons, banners, or user interfaces.

7. Community management

Screenshot of the official DEV’s React community

Last but not least, you can help to manage the community by answering questions, organizing events, onboarding new contributors, writing tutorials, or recording videos.


Remember that open-source projects thrive on collaboration and contributions from the community. Whatever your skill set or level of experience, there are always ways to contribute.

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