It all started when I got a message from my sister,containing a link to a post detailing a competition called the Open Source Challenge 2021 hosted by the Open Source Community Africa(OSCA). I'm a newbie software developer, still getting to grips with the different terminologies thrown around in the world of technology. I had been seeing the term "open source" here and there, and I had an idea, but didn't exactly know what it meant.
This was an opportunity to get to know more about what open source meant by actively participating in a challenge, while also standing a chance to win a prize. Naturally, I was excited about this opportunity and proceeded to read some articles about what it meant for a project to be open source and where to start contributing.
Open source refers to projects whose design and implementation is freely available to be modified and shared by anybody. The source code of such projects can be contributed to by anybody interested in the project, after a process of reviewing by the original authors of the project. The changes that can be made by the public to the project are not restricted to code changes only, errors in documentation can also be corrected, as well as addition of more descriptive text to explain the project and what it does.
After learning what open source was and how to get started, I was ready to start contributing.
I attempted joining the discord community for the open source challenge but I was having some issues with the discord app and logging in. At this point, other stuff came up and I briefly forgot about the challenge. About a week later, my attention got called back to it and I ended up finding a solution to the discord issue and joined the community proper.
The commit message attached to my first pull request did not properly convey the message of the change I made. This was pointed out to me nicely by the project's author, after which I made the requested change. That was a nice bit of learning on how to write meaningful commit messages so the reviewer has proper context when looking through the changes before merging them. I kept contributing to beginner-friendly open source projects, documentation mostly and some code changes too.
Overall, exploring the open source world been a good ride that I hope to continue on. The importance of open source projects cannot be over-emphasized, in that the source code for the project can be gone through if the documentation is not sufficient and the it also improves overall project quality, owing to the fact that mistakes and better implementations can be pointed out by the public.
Thanks for reading🤗!!!