Contributing to Open Source With Little Open Source Experience

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Like many developers, I have used many an open source library/framework for my projects.

And like many newer developers, I haven't actually contributed anything meaningful to the open source communities whose code I use so regularly.

This year, I have made it a goal to contribute to open source more, about once a month. I figured this is a way to give back to the community as well as making me look attractive to potential employers.

The problem?

I really haven't contributed much of anything before.

Searching for Welcoming Repos to Contribute To

I got lucky in that I found an interesting repo in an article I was reading. The library is called Toast UI Editor. This library is an incredibly useful one for me as I try to build out Check Yo Self and am in need of a markdown editor.

I went through the issues and found this one:

Of course, the issue creator could have been nicer, but I felt like this was something I could do.

The maintainer made a few comments and because he said that helping out would be welcomed, I chimed in:

The other nice part about this is that their Code of Conduct encourages kindness and welcomes diversity.

Tips on Contributing To Open Source as a Newcomer

There are several resources, my favorite being Your First PR and their Github issues repo for first-timers.

Make sure you read the contributing doc and make sure their Code of Conduct makes sure the environment is not toxic and is welcoming to new programmers or programmers new to the open source community.

Contributing is Fun

I have forked Toast UI and set up the dev environment and made a new enhancement branch. I am digging into the css now and having fun.

Have you contributed? How'd it go your first time?

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👋🏾 Hi. I’m Tiffany White. I am a front-end engineer and egghead.io instructor. I sometimes contribute to open source, and blog about web development at Tiffany R. White Blog. I love JavaScript, React ⚛️, and herding cats 🐾 🐈