How to contribute to Open Source? A Beginner's Guide

How to contribute to Open Source? A Beginner's Guide

One of the best ways to improve your programming skills is collaboration in open source projects. For the first time, it can be quite intimidating and I was pretty scared myself. I thought I was not good enough to submit code to the bigger projects but I'm here to tell you to not be apprehensive about these things and do not be afraid of making a small change and submitting a pull request for a big project, because it's likely that it will help someone.

I know that you might be thinking🤔 that Is this blog really help you to start your open-source journey? So, I promise you that after reading this blog, you will definitely feel much confident to make your first open-source contribution.

I am sure that you might be hear about the term “open-source”. And you might be thinking What exactly is it? How can you contribute in it? What are the tech or tools need to know to do open source? How can you get started? So, you are at right place. In this blog, I will cover all this and much more.

1. What is an open source?

Open Source refers to the source code that is available for modification, enhancement and anyone can use freely. Open-source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available. Anyone can also contribute in the source code to make it better. GitHub is also an example of an open collaboration.

2. Why should you contribute in an open-source program?

This is the first question that arises in our mind that why should you contribute to open-source programs? So, there are plenty of purposes such as :

• Learn new skills

• Share your knowledge

• Grow together and learn together

• Gain experience in Real-World Development

• Build your Networking with like-minded peoples • Networking will help you to grow your career

• Know about the workflow of Git and GitHub

• Brushed up your skills

3. Who can Contribute? What do you need to participate in an open-source program?

If you are a beginner then most probably, these questions arise in your mind. And you might be thinking that, Are you eligible for this program or not? Well, the answer is Yes. You can contribute to open-source programs.

Well, For contributing to any open source program, you don’t need to have a deeper understanding of any tech. Just need to learn the basics of any tech according to your interest and make contributions. Let's say, If you know only the basics of HTML and CSS, then you can contribute to any open source project of Web development. You can make changes in the UI of that project, change color or change the font style. These are very basics issues and you can easily contribute to them.

4. How to find an open-source project?

This is a very crucial step. The first step is finding a project. Just typing label:beginner, label:easy, label:starter or label:first-timers-only into the search bar on GitHub will bring up issues that the project's developers consider appropriate for beginner programmers. Once you've found a project you like, it's time to dive into your new life as an open source developer. Within those projects, whenever you catch yourself thinking that something could be better or altered, act on your instinct.

And Make sure, your selected project will follow these things :

• The project must have a license

• It should be a recent project that means mentors and admin are active

• Make sure, people are contributing to that project

• There should be an active discussion on the project issue

• Check that mentors are reviewing pull requests of the participants

If all the above conditions are satisfied by the project then you should go for that project. Happy learning!!😁