Committing to open source

One of the coolest parts about software development is being able to contribute my time and skills to open source projects. What’s an open source project? Basically, it refers to something that people can modify and share because its design is publicly accessible. Like that definition? 😉 I found it here. A good example of open source software is the browser Mozilla Firefox.

But open source isn’t just about writing code. It can involve many aspects of a project, such as writing docs, or even translating information into different languages. All that work has to be done by somebody, so why not involve people who are interested in the project?

So far, most of my open source contributions have been edits to the web development curriculum at The Odin Project. What I like about it is that it’s great practice for working in a team environment, especially one utilizing version control and Git. The steps are usually like this:

  • look at the task (the issue) on GitHub and determine what needs to be done,
  • express interest to the maintainer by leaving a comment,
  • fork the repository and clone to your local machine, (so you’re not editing the working copy!)
  • make necessary changes,
  • commit changes to the main repository,
  • wait for any feedback or change requests,
  • see your work merged into the main repository for the 🌍 world to use!

This workflow is very common in the web/software development industry, and I’m happy to have these opportunities to build my skills – and make contributions at the same time. 😃