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Shaffan Mustafa
Shaffan Mustafa

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My First Contribution to Open Source In a While

(Link to original article from my Medium page: https://medium.com/@shaffan1996/my-first-github-contribution-in-a-while-2aa1309683b4)

I just created a pull request for a GitHub repository that introduces people to an obscure but fascinating programming language called Common Lisp. It’s fun to tinker around with because its a multi-paradigm programming language that allows you to approach and solve problems in many different ways. CL created many concepts that people use to solve programming problems all the time, such as first-class functions (functions that can take functions as arguments), a trick that’s becoming more and more common, seeing use today in Haskell and JavaScript. Also, it’s interpreted, so you can keep adjusting your code to experiment and make small changes to your code without having to run an entire program in one shot like Java. Being able to make changes on the fly makes programming a lot more fun and much less frustrating and time consuming!

It was only three lines of HTML, but it was something that was explicitly requested by the people at Articulate Common Lisp. It details how to install Steel Bank Common Lisp, a popular version of Lisp, in two quick steps. They have a bunch of cool material to help people get started writing cool stuff in Lisp.

Aside from Common Lisp, the main takeaway is that making contributions to open-source, is a really good step for your career as a programmer, even if it’s really small stuff like changing or adding a few words on a page! People who started out making small pull requests eventually can become maintainers for open-source software that thousands of people use every day. Give it a shot! You never know what small contribution today can have a big impact on yourself or somebody else tomorrow!

Feel free to leave feedback on this post. This is my first tech blog post, so I’ll accept gladly consider any suggestions to make this piece more interesting, relevant, or easier to understand!

Edit: A reader suggested that I provide a link to the actual pull request, so here it is: https://github.com/articulate-common-lisp/articulate-common-lisp.github.io/pull/67

Also, here is the link to the Common Lisp website: https://lisp-lang.org/

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Sorry for the callout πŸ˜†