Okay, so you want to join the hip crowd and become part of the Open Source community. You’re probably wondering how to go about doing that effectively. Here are the next steps that you can take to begin your journey into open source coding. These steps are also suggested to help you enjoy your beginning journey.
Code what you like
You’re most likely going to have the best time contributing to open source projects that actually appeal to you. Good thing there are sites that let you browse and join different open source coding projects. One such popular site is GitHub. This site is home to a staggering number of open source projects. There are about 5 million open source projects that are active on this site. So whether you like creating astronomy apps or cooking apps, if there’s an open source project ongoing for these, they’re probably on GitHub.
Code with what you know
Another great way of having fun when contributing to the different open source projects is to join one which needs your particular expertise. If you’re good in HTML or in Ruby on Rails, finding a project that uses these coding languages is one of the best ways to enjoy contributing to open source projects. And because you’re comfortable with your coding skills, you’re more likely to be able to deliver quality results, which will make other project members happy that you jumped into the pool.
Do the Documentation
Nobody really likes writing stuff down. Everyone wants to code. Nobody wants to be the guy or gal who has to keep track of everything. Well, here’s one way of getting on everybody’s good side (although there’s a good chance not everyone is going to notice): be the one who actually writes the documentation. Those who want to contribute to the project will want to know the developments and those who want to use the application will want documentation on how to use it.
Be the Person with the Answer
Open source is supposed to be a community of programmers helping each other out, but sadly sometimes those who are asking questions don’t get the right or enough answers. So do your open source project group a favor, and be the go-to-guy for answers. Again, programmers and software engineers really like to code, and sometimes helping out that poor dude who’s asking a pretty simple question he can actually Google it is out of the question. It will really help a lot of people and future users and contributors, if you could take the time and start answering questions. Your effort will be an invaluable addition to the open source world.
Report a bug
Doing so is very important. If users didn’t report bugs, the developers won’t be able to find it (because they’re probably busy doing coding) and won’t be able to fix it. This is a very important but not so sexy way of contributing to an open source project but it helps a lot. So if you find a bug, please take the time to report it.