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Mourad Bougarne
Mourad Bougarne

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What’s the meaning of contribution to open source projects?

I’ve planned this year to start a series of articles about creating Nuxt app (Universal /PWA) using different back-end ExpressJS or maybe KoaJS and Lumen (Laravel Micro-framework), but while I’m surfing Facebook yesterday evening (Wednesday) a post popup in front of me published on a private group for PHP developer in my country (PHP Maroc).

One of the admins published a post about some advices/recommendations for the new developer in 2020 how they can start? One of those advises is Contribute on open source projects which is the last point in the list. The magic happens when a member in the group asked why? About Contribute on open source projects for the newcomers, in a series of comment he labeled and classed the contribution to just pro level, as below:

yes, but the post talk about what a beginner should do it's better to focus on the abilities and framework contributing needs a pro level.

I hope that they didn’t get mad at me to take their comments

I’m not against what they said if we enclose the contribution to just in coding which in my opinion isn’t true, that’s what takes me to ask:

  • What’s the meaning of contribution to open source community?
  • It is just about coding and technical stuff?
  • How to contribute to the community?

I believe that the contribution to open source community not just about coding nor it's confined to TOP LEVEL, you may be a newbie and you’ll find a bug, help in fixing a bug, give a line of code that help in a project, provide an idea, a feedback, answer questions, so on...

The open source community not just about programming nor it is labeled for: Top, master, seniors and the list goes on... It is about passion to help in many aspects, you didn’t need to be a pro to contribute to a project I’m not talking about coding or technical part, for sure to add extra features or improve performance of a lib, framework... need some skills, but as I said early there’s a lot of part in how to contribute and it isn't confined in coding. In fact, I advise anyone newbies or pro alike to take a time to read source code of some projects, it’s a great place to improve/aspiring yourself.

How to contribute to the community?

I see that you don’t need to be proficient in a programming language or programming in general to help, yes you can contribute even if you just start, there’s a lot to help with, you can help with a lot and this is my list:

  • Give feedback and share your ideas with community in how to improve the project Report the bugs.
  • Try to give answers about issues and open threads, you might be beginner but there’s a chance that you came into that issue and have a solution.
  • Funding, a lot of project need sponsored to move forward you can contribute by donation.
  • Promote and spread the word about that project to make its community grow.
  • Be a beta user, it’s like giving feedback or report bugs but with the upcoming version.
  • Make the project wiki richer, translate it to your mother tongue or other language that you speak.

You can contribute with different aspects not just coding, thanks a lot to the developers who spent a lot of time in the technical part but you /we can give them a hand and help in other parts.

The image source Pexels by Evgeniy Grozev

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