Cover image for My first frustration-free OpenSource Pull Request

My first frustration-free OpenSource Pull Request

msarit profile image Arit Amana ・1 min read

Finally. FINALLY! I just opened my first opensource PR, with much less frustration than I've grown accustomed to expecting.

For several months now, I have searched for an opensource project that I could successfully recreate in my local environment, and start contributing to. It's been hard. Whenever I did locate a Rails-based app, it was either all-but-abandoned or too complicated for me to install. In the latter case, my cries for help to the code maintainers would either go unanswered, or their responses would confuse me all the more. Trust me: #beginner-friendly doesn't always guarantee a smooth ride for a first-time contributor. With each iteration of being bombarded with "unsolvable" error messages, I grew less and less enthused about opensource.

Enter Dev.to. I wanted to get excited when I learned that their platform was Rails-based, but multiple past disappointments kept me guarded. After some encouragement from Ben Halpern, I forked the Dev.to repo and started going through the installation steps. Y'all, I encountered just one error (which is what my PR is based on). Just ONE! I couldn't believe it: there was my local Dev.to app at localhost:3000, looking just lovely! I'm just grateful to be on the opensource board as it were. I almost don't care if my PR gets rejected lol. Almost, though, almost 😄


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waylonwalker profile image
Waylon Walker

I think GitHub is definitely changing this game. For small changes, or docs related changes you can already hit the edit button right inside of GitHub. It will automatically fork the project for you. Then when you go back to the project there will be a notification that you just pushed to a fork, "would you like to start a PR". Their new code spaces is definitely going to take this to the next level.

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Ben Halpern


BTW, love your PR. I am going to request a change before it gets merged, but it's the perfect addition to the README.

zeddotes profile image

Congrats! Hopefully I can hop on board, too.

kritner profile image
Russ Hammett

same! just gotta do my rails hello world and I'll be ready right? :P

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Ben Halpern


migueloop profile image
Miguel Ruiz

This post pushes me to at least download a run the project locally...

msarit profile image
Arit Amana Author

Absolutely! I had no problems at all. My local env is on a mac on which I'm running Postgres. Let me know how ot goes!

dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

Congrats there Arit~.

I dug through to see where the PR was. And it was how I got started as well a documentation change.

Trust me: #beginner-friendly doesn't always guarantee a smooth ride for a first-time contributor.

I can empathize with it as I had trouble getting one of the open source sites run on "Windows" to make a simple markdown file change.

One thing led to another, I ended up doing another PR to make it run on Windows. It was quite tough to get it working (as I was knew to it).

Would you be able to share the frustration you had and how you got over it 😉

And Hacktoberfest 2018 is happening soon and hope it can give you more confidence doing PRs 😎

karlredman profile image
isabelcmdcosta profile image
Isabel Costa

Congrats on doing that PR with less frustrations! I get that so much :) Open source can be very intimidating and frustrating. Glad you didn't gave up!

msarit profile image
Arit Amana Author

I'm glad too sis! 😁

nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor (he/him)

I found my first PR super stressful trying to make it perfect... it wasn't 😜

Cool stuff @zhadyrassyn on getting your first PR merged! Documentation is important for projects and it's a great way to ease into a project.

If you're interested, here's a fun site to see what a person's 1st PR was. I remember trying to make a perfect first PR... it wasn't ;)

If you haven't read it yet, @jess has a great post for people new to open source.

citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

Nice tool! :) According to it my first Github PR was adding documentation for the Potion programming language in 2010. But that must be wrong, since I have a bug fix commit in there that is more than 1 year older. _why's original repository got removed and some history may have been lost in the process...