Getting Started In OSS

2018-06-19

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Open source development can seem intimidating to new developers. Complex vocabulary. Fear of rejection. Intimidating code bases. These are all relatable feelings to have.

So where does a new developer start? Documentation. As a new developer to a project, you are the one who benefits most from quality documentation. Read through it closely. Not only will this give you a better idea of how the project works and why it exists, you can spot minor grammatical and spelling errors. Look for a CONTRIBUTING.md

Get in there and fork (create a copy of a project under your account you can freely modify), commit your edits (save to your copy of the code base), and make a pull request (ask the original coders to merge in your edits).

For more information on places to get going when you are starting from scratch, check out FreeCodeCamp’s How to Contribute to Open Source.