What, Who, When and Where of Open Source Contribution
Hello there 👋🏽, In this article, I will share with you a few reasons you should participate in open source contribution and also share more light on what it is, who can participate, when to participate, and where to make your first pull request in open source.
1. What is Open Source?
Example 1: Open source is like giving you access to edit my artilce whenever you come across a typographical errror or update a part with a much better sentnece.
Let's take a google document as example 2, if you are given edit access to a google file, you will get to modify the content of the document and then wait for the maintainer/editor of the document to approve or reject your changes, that is exactly what open source looks like.
2. Who can Participate in Open Source?
Short answer: Anyone, pro or not.
Open source is not an event where only geniuses are expected to participate, it is meant for everyone who is willing to learn or give back to the community by helping to fix something in others' projects.
There are millions of repositories that are open-source, popular projects like the Linux Operating System, Android by Google, Firefox Browser, VCL media player on your PC and Moodle are all examples of open source projects anyone including you can contribute to.
2.1 One more thing
Finding a project to contribute to is not really hard, you just have to have a plan and a reason you want to contribute to someone's project in the first place.
Before you start looking for a project to contribute to, you should ask yourself the reason you want to do this, is it because of the green dot that comes with it, or do you want your name on the contributor's list?
All these are valid reasons, we all have different motives, figure out yours and it will be your push till you find that repository that will accept your request because in the end you will still have the experience and learn something new.
3. When should I Participate?
Right now, I mean anytime, do not wait until there is a hackathon or event such as hacktoberfest or Open source Africa before you contribute to open source projects.
You can set a goal of contributing to one or two projects in a month, and this could be a contribution to someone's portfolio, simple games and gradually move on to advance projects.
3.1 Can I also be a maintainer?
There are two things involved in open source contribution, it's either you are a maintainer or a contributor, project maintainers are the owner of the project you want to contribute to, you are a maintainer of your repository and if I want to send a PR to your repository then that makes me a contributor.
But you have to understand how merging works on GitHub so your project doesn't get messed up, I will advise you to become a bit good at contributing to open source projects before opting in as a maintainer.
There is no signing up to become a maintainer, just create a new repository and tell everyone your project is accepting pull requests and label it as
open source or
I am a maintainer in the ongoing 2021 hacktoberfest open source, you can check out my project from here.
You can as well start an open-source project with a group of friends, it's a better way to get started
4. Where can I find Projects to Contribute?
There is no need of reinventing the wheels, below are 11 links to articles where you can find open source repositories accepting pull requests curated by amazing writers and sources that I know.
45 Open source projects to celebrate hacktoberfest by my good friend Mr. Unity Buddy
Open source is not hard and it is meant for everyone to participate, you should try it out today, tomorrow, and every time, as you will learn and help someone in the process.
Now you know there is room for everyone in open source contribution with lots of resources and useful links such as the ones in this article.
say to yourself I WILL CONTRIBUTE TO OPEN SOURCE PROJECT TODAY!!!.
Till we see in the next article bye-bye 👋🏽
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