It’s been over a month now since I’ve started contributing to the open source so I decided to untangle everything about it starting from its basic motive to all the problem I faced in the very beginning of my journey.
And to mention this is my very first article so if you guys want to criticize me about anything in this article then you can freely do so and I will try to improve with time. So without any further ado let’s get started.
1. Meaning Of Open Source
First of all, It is very important for us to have a clear knowledge about the open source. So let us try to understand that in layman language. We humans can observe from the nature that “No one has ever become poor by giving ” which means that basic flow of nature is to give rather than to take after all It is going to be your contributions in the world that will live even after your life. The impact that you will be creating in the world in the lives of others is the only thing that matters in the end.
So Open Source works on the same logic that we should try to give as much as we can. Now in the terms of open source, this “giving” is known as “contribution” . It can be for the open source community or an organization and there is no harm in even contributing to small projects because in the end it is contribution that matters not the size of it. The idea of giving itself is very fascinating. And those who give never ends being poor ( you can take example of many billionaires )
So by giving and contributing what you will earn is experience and habit to work on huge projects. We will talk about its benifits in the later sections of this article.
2. What Should NOT be Your mindset about open source ??
Don’t enter in the world of open source if your only intention is to get those swags and all that fancy stuff. Aiming for GSoC Outreachy and stuff like that shouldn’t be your primary motive.
Of course There is no harm in aiming or preparing for stuff like that coz it can help a bit in your resume but the main thing to understand about having GSoC or any other summer program certificate in your resume will only showcase that you are an active open source contributor and what I believe is just showing that certificate and not being an actual part of the community is an insult of the community.
3. Now Let’s Talk About Some Technical Stuff !!
To contribute to the open source and to make an impact in the community, you only need one thing that is the will to learn and improve and simultaneously giving as much as you can to the community. That is the real fun isn’t it ?
So after you have developed that will and are excited to contribute to the open source the first thing that you need to get started and to make your first contribution in the community is the basic knowledge of Git and Github. Now in very layman terms, Git is the required software that helps the contributor to keep the track of all the versions of a particular software or project. So that we can revert to previous version if for example we feel that new version have increased problems ( bugs ) then we either have to solve those bugs together or we have can revert to previous version to better understand why those errors are popping. so git just help us to do these and github is a platform where we developers come together and work on a project collectively for a greater good. You can learn more about this from google because it is a great resource not only for beginners but also for experts.
4. Not a Coder ? Not a Problem !
If you are not a coder still it is not a problem as you can still contribute to the projects. This is where technical writing comes into the play. You can still write about the project, prepare its documentation and stuff like that which is also a contribution no more and no less than a coding contribution. You can research about that in google and to mention even google has something like GSoC for technical writers which is GSoD ( google season of docs ). So don’t go into rat race of GSoC, if you really want to get into a summer program then also look into GSoD.
5. Benefits of Open Source
Contributing to open source and entering in the world of development, it can be web development or mobile development or anything else can be highly beneficial for both the parties. Organization will be getting more people that will join them and be a part of their codebase and community and the contributor will learn a lot by this in many fields. It can prove to be helpful indirectly in many ways like a person will know how to interact with people when I will have to talk with many people about their project contributions and how can we guys forget about swags that we will be having from those orgs in exchange for our contributions but still we are missing something big which is resume building. Even if we aren’t able to get selected in Google summer of code we can always mention those projects we have been working on and all time you have spent contributing to the open source.
So in the end I would just like to say that we should contribute to the open source not just for the sake of swags or some stipend from summer programs but to have an open mindset that the main motive is to help others and to payback what you’ve learnt till now.
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Those who are still having any queries can freely mail me on email@example.com and we can talk on this topic in much more detail if anyone wants it.
My Github Profile if you want to see my contributions till now for the community and if you like my work you can always follow me.
Thank You for Reading !