How To Find The One
Contributing To Open Source
You decided to aim some (or more) of your free time to contribute to open-source. I'm with you!
The easy way is to follow a needs you find in your day-to-day work. For example, a library you use has a bug or a missing feature.
In this article, we will not cover this situation. Instead, let's discuss how to find a project to contribute to that you have never worked on before.
If you want a short to-do list, go to TL;DR at the end.
First, we need to understand what our goal is:
Enrich your CV? Learn new technologies? Meet new people? Get familiar with a specific niche. Or even have fun.
These all are great examples of possible reasons to start contributing to open-source. They will change the way we will choose projects to work on. So let's explore some of them together.
Learn New Technology:
Let's look, for example, at a use case of a developer who wants to start contributing to projects written with Go.
The first place I would recommend checking is the GitHub Trending page and filtering by language. Pay attention that you have the option to filter by spoken language as well as by programming.
Another great place to check is at communities relevant to the technologies you want to learn. For example, ask at meetups or Facebook page if someone is working on a project you can join.
Meet New People
This issue increased in importance after Covid-19. Most of us work from home, at least partially, and it's lonely. Also, it is crucial to find mentors to learn from.
So if you are a junior looking to create a connection with senior developers or a senior that wants someone to share their knowledge with, it's for you.
Communities- there are a lot of communities around projects and technologies. Pick your favorite social network and start participating in these communities' meetups and discussions.
I recommend asking for a mentor in one of these communities to help dive deep into the project.
Hacktoberfest- Each October, there are a lot of virtual and physical events about the open-source world.
If you are seeking to work with a specific person you admire, you have two options:
The first is to go to their GitHub page 👉🏻 repositories 👉🏻 pick project 👉🏻 issues 👉🏻 look for "good-first-issue."
And the second is to connect with them on your favorite platform: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Github, or even in a meetup or confluence. Finally, pay attention that if you admire this person, you are probably not the only one.
Be direct and polite, do not get it personally if they don't get back to you. Most people work on open source voluntarily and have other fields of interest beyond that.
Rech Your CV
If you aim to change your niche or find a junior position, contributing to open source is an experience.
Search for projects in the specific technologies and areas that the niche you aimed to work for needs.
Also, If you aim to work in an IC position or team lead, open source is a great place to work on your leadership and mentoring skills. In this situation, I will recommend moderating a library.
Moderation is not something that comes easily in a big library that already has a core team. However, you have nothing to lose by asking.
Another solution is to open a new open-source project and maintain it.
Bonus 👉🏻 Improve A Good Impression On The Interviewers
Many companies have open-source projects that you can find on GitHub, waiting for your contribution.
Talking about a code you contributed, opening a bug, or improving documentation of a project is a big plus to most companies, even if that is not to one of their projects.
However, contributing to one of their projects helps the interviewers to value your code more carefully and show enthusiasm.
TL;DR Place To Look To Find Open Source Projects
Meetups / Conferences
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned new things.
If you liked this post, I would appreciate 👏🏻 and sharings 🤗.
I will love to hear for comments/suggestions. ❤️
Who Am I?
My name is Michal Porag. I am a Front End Developer at Gong.
In addition, I am the co-founder and a community leader at Pull Request and a Tech Speaker.
You can contact or follow me: