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Cover image for [On-Demand Talk] Babystepping Your Way to Becoming an Open Source Contributor
Tulio Leao
Tulio Leao

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[On-Demand Talk] Babystepping Your Way to Becoming an Open Source Contributor

About this talk

Contributing to open source projects might feel scary, but there is a place for everyone — across all levels of knowledge.

It's up for all of us to set our own pace in the open source ecosystem. I hope that my talk helps you do this!

Takeaways

  1. What you need to start doing open source work
  2. What you don't need to start doing open source work
  3. Different ways to contribute, depending on what you have at your disposal.

Slides

>> Click here to download slides

🌈 Comment below and ask me questions — I might just answer them during my live speaker discussion!


About Túlio Leão

Túlio had always wanted to be involved in open source, and with the tips in this talk, he made it happen! Before long, he was a contributor and the maintainer of three projects, and a few organizations — who knows how many by the time you see this talk!


This on-demand talk is part of CodeLand 2021 — a virtual conference brought to you by CodeNewbie & DEV on September 23 & 24, 2021.

Discussion (33)

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jennieocken profile image
Jennie Ocken (she/her)

Hi! Reminder that if you have any questions for Tulio to drop them here! We'll address these questions in the live speaker discussion coming up soon.

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callumreid profile image
callumreid

I tried to grab my first open source ticket for Microsoft's BICEP program, and realized pretty quickly I was not able to figure out what was going on at all. I think next try should be on something in a language I have used before...

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cmgorton profile image
Christina

It is important to find projects that have a good contributor guide as well. Even if you aren't super familiar with a language the repo maintainers can make it easier to get started. This might be a good list to check out 😄
github.com/Virtual-Coffee/virtualc...

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callumreid profile image
callumreid

Thank you Christina! It's nearly spooky season and I have a big goal to get started contributing to open source over the next month!

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cmgorton profile image
Christina

If you are ever interested in contributing to Forem (The software that powers DEV and CodeNewbie) let me know.
I'd love to help you find a good issue and get started 😄 If you have specific programming languages you work with and need help finding a different project I could probably help with that too!

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callumreid profile image
callumreid

I am INCREDIBLY interested, Christina! I am most practiced in Javascript, React, MySQL, and MongoDB-- but always am hungry to learn new things. Any help toward a good first issue would be hugely appreciated, and any advice will be taken to heart. Not sure the best way to connect-- but my github is github.com/callumreid. Thank you for the kindness 😁

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cmgorton profile image
Christina

I'm working on a list of good issues this next week for Hacktoberfest so I will definitely reach out to you. I'm on Twitter too if you are there and want to chat through DMs. twitter.com/coffeecraftcode

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stevenyholm profile image
Steve Nyholm

Is there a place for a beginner to contribute on big, widely used projects like ASP.NET, that are backed by a big company like Microsoft and already have thousands of contributors, or should we start with smaller, more obscure projects that have a smaller team?

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

@stevenyholm , great question. I answered that on the panel, but in case you missed, my answer is "Yes"! Projects are being open sourced for a reason: people want to get the community involved, regardless if it's an obscure project or a big one.

There are advantages on each:

  • for the obscure/smaller ones you're more likely to see the impact of your work and also to connect with people at a deeper level, as it's a small community. There the requirements might be lower for accepting and merging PRs.

  • for the big ones you'll probably have an easier time finding people to help you out, have more resources available to read (such as contributing guidelines and wikis) and contact with potentially big continuous integration and deployment infrastructures, but also the number of good issues to start with might always be low, as people run to get them.

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stevenyholm profile image
Steve Nyholm

Very helpful information. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, both during the live-streaming speaker discussion and in writing.

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tiffany profile image
Tiffany (she/ela)

Great insight here! Never thought about "spreading the word" as a way of contributing to open source. This way of categorizing forms of contribution by the amount of effort it takes is really helpful on making new devs lose the fear of contributing.

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

@tiffany thanks for the kind words! It really helps to spread the word, I've done it myself, sending a cool project to someone only to see that person become a contributor later on :)

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debrakayelliott profile image
Debra-Kaye Elliott

Open source is a great way to start dipping a toe in as a newbie developer, gain confidence, learn and feel like you're working with other developers.

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muditabaid profile image
Mudita Baid

Thanks Tulio for the wonderful talk. It was very informative for people like me who wants to start contributing to open source projects.

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

Hacktoberfest is coming up. A lot of maintainers prepare their projects to welcome newcomers, so it's a good time to jump in if you feel like it :)

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jrrohrer profile image
Jessie Rohrer

What are some good resources for finding open source projects to contribute to? Aside from just haunting GitHub?

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

@jrrohrer there are some websites dedicated to this such as goodfirstissue.dev/ or up-for-grabs.net/ , but scouring GitHub also works, specially if you use tags such as the ones for programming languages.

October is a special month for open source too, with the Hacktoberfest event coming up. A lot of maintainers prepare their projects to welcome newcomers, so it's a good time to jump in!

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jrrohrer profile image
Jessie Rohrer

Thanks so much for your answer! I will definitely check out those resources. I always hear about Hacktoberfest, but I've never looked into it. Time to do some reading :)

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noviicee profile image
Novice

Open Source is always ❤️
This talk was soooo soothing for me. Listening to all those points felt great. You really covered a lot of areas. This was really informative. Thanks a lot Tulio.

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

@noviicee such nice and kind words, thanks and glad to help!

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noviicee profile image
Novice

:D <3

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tiffany profile image
Tiffany (she/ela)

Hey, Túlio! Fellow Brazilian here. Thanks for the talk, I'm very interested in knowing more on how one can contritbute to Open Source. I'd love to learn how to find begginer friendly projects that a newbie can contribute to.

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

@tiffany there are some websites out there dedicated on finding repositories with good issues to start with, such as goodfirstissue.dev/ or up-for-grabs.net/. If you find a cool project, but feel unsure on whether there are good tasks to start there, a good option is to reach out to the maintainers on their Discord or whichever channel they use to communicate and state that you want to help and need directions. Most will be glad to find a task for you!

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fizzybuzzybeezy profile image
fizzybuzzybeezy

Thanks for this topic Tulio!

Yay cpp & Qt! I used Qt 4 in a personal open source project (a long time ago.) However, I have not participated in other's open source projects. I was also blocked by the feeling that I didn't have enough experience to contribute. Also, I didn't like the feeling that my time would get swallowed with a huge project.

Your ideas are helpful at removing the stress of starting!

Wow, just code open a PR! That's so liberating!

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

@fizzybuzzybeezy the commitment and time you devote is up to you, if you're not a maintainer of this project, people won't expect you to make contributions often and periodically. In fact, most of the people that contribute to projects I maintain do something one day and return weeks or months later, and that's fine, they're still helping the software and community grow, and are as welcome as the ones that appear daily!

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mahyellaw profile image
MJ Torres

man, here's another talk that i really wanna hear but i'm starting to get sleepy lol. will listen to this later in the morning, good mor-night from the Philippines :P

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tarynmcmillan profile image
Taryn McMillan

Great tips! Open source has been on my radar for a while but as a game developer, I never really thought I'd be a good candidate for it.

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

@tarynmcmillan everyone can be part of the open source community, game developers aren't any different, specially because there are so many people creating or recreating games out there in the community.

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ckn00b profile image
Christian New

great talk @tupaschoal ! Being kind and patient goes a long way!

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

@ckn00b It goes a long way and it goes both ways too! Kindness makes everything more plesant. I'm glad you liked it!

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stevenyholm profile image
Steve Nyholm

Thank you for sharing these helpful tips

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srivera12 profile image
Sarah Rivera

I loved this! Thanks for breaking things down - made things seem a lot more possible for beginners.

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tupaschoal profile image
Tulio Leao Author

@srivera12 it definitely is possible Sarah!