Contributing To Open Source

Dec 3, 2012

I start every year off with a few personal goals that I think will help me grow both professionally and personally. It’s something that I was introduced to years ago and it just kind of stuck.

This year one of the goals I made was to contribute something to open source. Just make a pull request. Of course, this is way harder than one would think. Most of the projects that I use are giant projects. Rails for example. Adding something to Rails scares the hell out of me. I mean really, I can’t compare with those guys. They are incredibly talented and know that source inside and out.

Naturally, I tried and failed to contribute something probably 6 or 7 times this year.

24 Pull Requests

Then I saw 24 Pull Requests and I knew this was my chance if I were to complete the goal before time runs out. But again, I was frozen with fear.

A little background on 24 Pull Requests. 24 Pull Requests is awesome! Sign in with your GitHub account, add some languages that you can work with, and your off. It will remind you to make a pull request everyday via email. Just help with one thing everyday. Oh yeah, not only will it remind you, but it will give you some projects that could use your help based on your selections and what is in your GitHub repo.

Start Small

I really think the key to get started with anything is to start small. Sometimes really small. That’s the route I took. After looking through issues on a few projects that I thought I could help with and noticed that I was in over my head, I opted for the documentation route and actually found a readme that could use a few links.

Yep, I added a couple of links. That’s it. I’m not even sure if it will make it into a merge, but hey, I took a baby step. Something tells me that once I got something merged and I know I helped, even a little, I may grow some confidence to try something larger.

Wait and See

Now I wait and see. Maybe 2013 will be the year I make that Rails Contributor list.