How to start contributing to open source

TL;DR

(too long, didn’t read)

Find a problem

First, find a problem that you want to solve, something that you care about.

Find a project

Then find an open source project that would help to solve that problem.

Study it

Study that open source tool.

Documentation

While you study that tool, there are high chances that the documentation has obsolete parts, needs updates, clarifications, etc.

  • Learn how to make a pull request with change suggestions.
  • Learn about the docs for that project. How they are created. It’s normally some text files in a directory in the same project, or in a sibling project. But you normally can just edit the small part that you found without having to learn everything about that project’s docs system.
  • Fork that project to get your own version to change and propose changes to the original.

Update the docs

Now add documentation for that project.

The newbie advantage

If you are a “newbie” with that open source tool, if you are just getting started with it, you have a great advantage over the maintainers or any other more experienced developer that uses that tool. And it’s exactly that. That you are a newbie… you know nothing about that tool.

About me

You can follow me, contact me, ask questions, see what I do, or use my open source code:

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Creator of FastAPI and Typer. Dev at Exposion AI. APIs, Deep Learning/Machine Learning, full-stack distributed systems, SQL/NoSQL, Python, Docker, JS, TS, etc.

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Sebastián Ramírez

Sebastián Ramírez

Creator of FastAPI and Typer. Dev at Exposion AI. APIs, Deep Learning/Machine Learning, full-stack distributed systems, SQL/NoSQL, Python, Docker, JS, TS, etc.