So you’re a few months or a few years old into programming, and just as you’re getting comfortable with working on little projects by you alone, you begin to get some advice/suggestions from senior colleagues about contributing to open source projects to boost your competence
What Is this open Source that you speak of?
Basically an open source is a program or software in which the source code can be inspected, modified or enhanced by anyone.
Why should i contribute to open source?
There are lots and lots of reasons for you to contribute to open source, here’s a few;
You get to improve your skills , be it coding, designing, writing, etc so long you’re willing to practice, there’s always a project for you.
Meet people of like minds. Most open source projects are filled with welcoming communities who are always willing to help wherever you encounter difficulties. Many long lasting friendships have been formed from here.
-Get mentors. Being part of a team contributing to an open source project means you getting to interact and exchange ideas with other members who have had more experience in that particular field and are willing to help out.
-Build your profile. Since projects you work on here are open, you can always get free samples to add them to your portfolio for that interview.
I think I’m getting a hang of it now, How do i start off?
Before giving tips on how to go about contributing, it’s important for us to note that OSC isn’t just about writing codes, even as a software developer, it’s more easier starting off OSC by contributing to documentations and parts that involve less codes, as it helps build your confidence (you’ll definitely write codes, if you want to) but there’s more to OSC than writing codes;
-You love Designing?. You could Conduct user research to reorganize and refine the project’s navigation or menus,
•Restructure layouts to improve the project’s usability
•Put together a style guide to help the project have a consistent visual design
•Create art for t-shirts or a new logo
-You love Writing? You could Write and improve the project’s documentation
•Start a newsletter for the project, or curate highlights from the mailing list
Was this article helpful in any way? don’t forget to recommend and share it☺. Check out more articles on She Code Africa•Write a translation for the project’s documentation
•Write tutorials for the project
-Are you good at planning events? You could Organize workshops or meetups about the project
•Help community members find the right conferences and submit proposals for speaking
•Organize the project’s conference (if they have one)
-Do you love coding? You could Find an open issue to tackle
•Automate project setup
•Improve tooling and testing
•Ask if you can help write a new feature
-Are you good at helping others? Then you could Answer questions about the project on e.g., Stack Overflow
•Answer questions for people on open issues
•Help moderate the discussion boards or conversation channels
•Review code on other people’s submissions
•Write tutorials for how a project can be used
•Offer to mentor another contributor
Oh gods of Open Source Contribution, what is thy way forward?
Before you set out to making contributions, Read up Github’s complete guide on finding a project and submitting a contribution here, and you’re good to go!
If you are within Africa or are an African, You can also get to join a community for open source lovers on twitter @oscafrica
“Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” — J.F Kennedy.