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Diving into Open Source for the first time!

lakshita2002 profile image Lakshita Mohanty ・3 min read

Bonjour à tous

Hi everyone, hope you all are doing good amidst the unprecedented times.

Background

I'm a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. I stumbled upon the term open source while my friends were discussing about it. I eventually came across Hacktoberfest from youtube. Being an absolute beginner, I decided to give it a shot and my friends supported me as well. This is how I participated in Hacktoberfest 2020.

C++ is all the programming I know as of now. I started off with HTML and CSS for Web Development as a part of college club secretarials, and learnt the basics of it.
Hence, I was a bit skeptical as to how I would participate in Hacktoberfest.

Progress

I have officialy completed the Hacktoberfest 2020. I made more than 15 PRs and 10 of them got merged. A few days ago, I received a mail from Digital Ocean stating that I had successfully completed the Hacktoberfest 2020. The progress has been empowering to be honest. I learnt a lot along the way, including coding and values like patience and ettiquete.

Contributions

I began with very basic PRs including submission of foundational C++ programmes. In one of the PRs, I wrote a cpp code that prints the elements of a 2 dimensional array in a spiral manner. I also came across a repository in which we had to write a json file for the recipe of awesome drinks. I asked a friend of mine as to what a json file meant (yes, I didn't even know what a json file was!) It took me a while to write a ginger lemon tea recipe (thanks to maa's help) in a json file format. Lastly, I made a PR to a repository maintained by a senior at NIT Rourkela. A friend of mine gave his repo's reference, and after contacting him over the mail, I finally opened my first issue on his repo. I added in a ping pong game that I had learnt to program using Python's turtle module (pygame was too intimidating at that time :/) I was asked to add in a requirements.txt file, which I eventually did :)
I also learnt the Pull Request Ettiquete and Writing a Good Issue. These are so very important now that I think about open source.
And this is how it all went!

Reflections

As mentioned above, the entire experience was very empowering. Being a greenhorn in open source, it taught me how much more there is to learn and how many opportunities open source provides one with. I will definately continue learning and contributing to open source! I made a really good connection with a senior from NIT Rourkela, who responded to my mail very politely and even asked for some changes on my PR. For now, I'm exploring open source all I can and learning more about data structures and algorithms in C++.
Adios Amigos!

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