Contributing to Open Source

What I Learned After Contributing to Open Source – Hacktoberfest

  1. I recommend starting early in the month, it was the middle of the month and had a difficult time finding stuff to work on
    1. I’d look through the list of of tasks only to find out they had already been done
    2. In that same token, I took a task only to find out someone has already put a PR in for it
  2. Working on codebases that has pretty good documentation – Especially if it’s your first hacktoberfest
    1. I came across the first task I signed myself up for and realized there wasn’t a lot of docs
      1. I asked for some help and couldn’t get things working so I decided to move forward with another project
  3. Work with languages (frameworks) in which you are familiar with (or at least interested in) – Especially if it’s your first hacktoberfest
    1. So that you can get your first couple of tasks out without much effort
    2. Then gradually move on to things you are unfamiliar with
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what is expected from you for the task
    1. Some folks don’t add good details about what they want/expect to be concluded at the end of the task, ask clarifying questions
      1. Join the slack group if they have one and Ask others questions
  5. Use the search by languages feature to narrow down the tasks within a specific language skill base that you want to complete
    1. This makes it so it’s easy to search for things you want to work on
  6. Pay attention to the labels for each project
    1. Notice labels such as labeled for hacktoberfest and beginner friendly
      1. If they have their own key, pay attention to those rules as well
  7. Contribute multiple times to the same code base
    1. Once you find a good codebase you don’t mind working with, find other issues you can potentially work on
      1. I found a project called directUs – The code was clean and the team was helpful plus everything was well documented…So I started to look for additional issues that hadn’t been worked on yet. It was difficult and I wasn’t successful but I didn’t give up.
  8. Continue to contribute even after hacktoberfest
    1. If you’ve started then keep going, don’t think you have to give up now that they month is over. Projects always need help.
  9. BONUS: I personally work on actual applications instead of projects that are more personal. Actual apps normally have login systems and just aren’t vanilla js/php code which is fine but it wasn’t my preference and not what I wanted to to contribute to.
  10. EXTRA BONUS: Thanks to a friend of mine, Thanks Claire!, I found out that you can make PR’s to your own projects on github – Super awesome if you’re trying to work on a new portfolio or web app.
  11. HONORABLE MENTION: The t-shirts for the ladies ran small, I ordered a size larger, to be on the safe side, but it didn’t fit either…I was bummed out but definitely learned my lesson.