Contribute to Open Source

How to get started contributing to open source

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How To: Contribute to Open Source

During the entire span of my career and even in my personal use of computers and technology I have consistently used Open Source Software over any licensed products. Once question I often get asked is:

 How do I get started contributing to open source projects?

My short answer to this questions is always: just jump in feet first. There is no right or wrong answer here, everyone who takes an interest in contributing to open source projects will take their own unique approach. As a first step, you need to decide on an open source project you want to contribute to. Often times the desire to get involved is driven by internal initiatives in your workspace to build prototypes. This may be driven by personal excitement for emerging technologies. Whatever it is that drives you, use this to also drive your enthusiasm to get involved. After all, this is how open source works.

Why Open Source Software?

Myself and my customers pefer OSS because there is no license fee compared to Legacy, COTS, and proprietary software solutions.
Additionaly OSS takes advantage of a global community of developers with some of the best skillsets in the world. Last but not least OSS is embraced by the biggest global enterprises in the world (Yahoo, Google, AWS, Netflix, Apple).

Check out more information about Open Source Software here and here.

What are some Examples of OSS?

Some great examples of Open Source Software are below:

  1. Apache Software Foundation
  2. Linux Software Foundation
  3. Github Public Repos
  4. SourceForge
  5. Open Source @ AWS
  6. Open Source @ Azure
  7. Open Source @ Google

What is JIRA?

Jira is a project and project issue tracking software from Atlassian. More specifically in the ASF ecosystem, the ASF Jira is a huge platform used by ASF project contributors to track progress on bugs, features, and releases. Working in JIRA is a great start but be sure to check out the ASF Community too.

How to Get Started?

Follow a path above and begin to involve yourself. You should be able to find Contribution information within every project. Reach out to existing contributors to offer help. Make friends in the open source community platforms. Get started by making some minor contributions to documentation and testing. When you are ready, pick a small bug, or feature, and begin to code. By showing others your enthusiasm to be stay involved in any given project you will slowly earn respect and hopefully contributor status.

What’s Next?

If you have an OSS project you want me to check out, or you want to get involved with some of the OSS projects I am working on, please take some time to introduce your self in the slack, discord, open source communties, stack, or socials listed in my Find Me section.