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Christine
Christine

Posted on • Originally published at chrissycodes.hashnode.dev on

Top 4 Reasons To Do Open Source Projects

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For the past few months, I have been immersing myself in the magical world of coding(well, mostly HTML & CSS. I will make you mine, JavaScript! Mark my words!). Just when I thought my thirst for knowledge was quenched by listening to Matt Delac compare CSS to the paint on houses in SheCodes or being a huge Scrimba fan, I was introduced to a whole new fountain

OPEN SOURCE!!

Exactly Millie. Mind blown!

I was first introduced to open source through a colleague on Scrimbas Discord community, and it was love at first Pull Request(it was not easy to do, but thats a blog post for another time).

What are Open Source Projects?

Well, think of OSPs as that Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint presentation you had to do for school, but for software engineers, backend engineers, frontend developers, and other folks from different industries.

Still unsure? Well, here are my top 5 reasons why you should participate in Open Source Projects.

Reason #1: Collaboration

You get to meet people from different backgrounds, and more often than not, they are eager to share their approaches to contributing to projects or give you feedback on your work, especially if you are new to open source projects.

Collaborating with others on these projects will help you learn how to work with others and give feedback. When I made my first contribution to EddieHubs Linkfree project, it felt good seeing my Pull Request merge into the project. As an Open Source beginner who does not work in the tech industry, seeing my contributions to the projects repository made me feel like my idea mattered.

If you want some tips on how to collaborate on Open Source Projects, check out Marit van Dijks blog post.

Reason #2: Show off your expertise.

Contrary to popular belief, you dont have to be a coder to participate in Open Source projects. Whether its drawing, graphic design, or music production, there are so many ways you can contribute.

When I first saw Acessibleforalls project, I noticed that the YouTube section in their Resources repository was missing video links, so I added some to that area and wrote brief descriptions about them. I also would read through the repos documentation to see if there are grammatical errors or descriptions that could use more detail.

If you want some on how to find Open source projects that suit you, check out Jade Wangโ€™s blog post.

Reason #3: Learn new skills

Of course, the major benefit of participating in Open Source Projects is learning new skills. It can range from learning HTML and CSS to experimenting with React.

Through my experience contributing to the documentation in EddieHub and AccessibleforAlls repositories, Ive learned how to:

  • Effectively format JSON and README files via Markdown.

  • Make a Pull Request

  • Review other peoples Pull Requests.

  • Clone repositories via Git

Homer is deciding which path to take

The possibilities are endless!

If you want some tips on how to use Open Source Projects to learn new skills, check out Uma Chellappas blog post.

Reason #4: Communication

When it comes to interacting with others, Oprah Winfrey said it best, Great communication leads to connection.

Whether you are going to be a technical writer, software engineer, frontend, or backend developer, more often than not, youre going to be working on a team, so having communication skills is imperative. Whenever I review the documentation of an open source project or someone elses contribution, Iโ€™d always check my Pull Requests and comments for grammar errors.

Conclusion

I know. I know. Participating in Open Source projects can be scary, but the people you meet and the skills you learn from contributing will all be worth it.

Thanks for reading this post! If you find it helpful, give it a like and share it with your friends. Also, follow me on Hashnode for more updates. Happy Coding! ๐Ÿ˜Š

This post was originally published on Women Who Code's blog by Christine Belzie

Credits

Homer Simpson Options GIF by Simpsonworld

Millie Bobby Brown Reaction GIF by Converse

Oh Yeah Yes GIF by Mauro Gatti

Web illustrations by Storyset

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