4 Easy Ways to Contribute to an Open Source Project
Begin your Open Source Journey with a Simple Contribution.
Want to contribute to an Open Source project but don't know where to start? You're in luck! This article will explain 4 easy ways you can contribute to an Open Source project as well as a few Hypertrace contributions you can make as examples.
Let's get started, shall we?
Do you like to write. Do you like to share with people? As the face of an open source project, documentation is one of the most important contributions. Every open source project welcomes contributions to documentation. If you are just getting started with Distributed Tracing or Hypertrace and felt that we were missing some documentation details especially on our Getting Started page, you can go ahead and raise a pull request in Hypertrace-docs. We will be more than happy to review and add your suggestions.
Here are few important documentation categories you can contribute to:
- Getting Started and Installation
- UI & Platform Overview
- Anything else users can see
Code/ Features/ Bug fixes
You like to code and would love to contribute code to an open source project? Here are the few ways to find an issue you want to fix or a feature you want to add.
- Go to the GitHub
Issuestab of the open source project repository you would like to contribute to. For Hypertrace, you can find open issues here
- If you are contributing for the first time,, look for issues with the
good first issuelabel. Otherwise just find something that interests you and start working on it.
- Do you have a feature/enhancement idea that you want to work on? Open an issue or start a discussion thread. Once you get some feedback, then start working!
- If you can't find something then you can also write unit tests if they are missing. No maintainer will say no to more/better tests in the suite. Here's an article to help you get started: https://www.toptal.com/qa/how-to-write-testable-code-and-why-it-matters
- While trying the project, if you find a bug, report them right away as that itself is a nice contribution.
If you are first time contributor, here are few articles which might help you:
- [Five Tips for Contributing to Open Source] (https://towardsdatascience.com/five-tips-for-contributing-to-open-source-software-8fd3d6f5606f)
- [Contributing to Open Source] (https://medium.com/@kevinjin/contributing-to-open-source-walkthrough-part-0-b3dc43e6b720)
- H[ow to Contribute to Open Source] (https://css-tricks.com/how-to-contribute-to-an-open-source-project)
- [The Definitive Guide to Contributing to Open Source] (https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/the-definitive-guide-to-contributing-to-open-source-900d5f9f2282)
Would you like to share your experience using an open source project? Enterprise products use marketing teams to get the word out about themselves but open source projects depend upon users. You can join the Hypertrace user community here. Once you join the community, you can talk with other users about their experience and perhaps even chat with the creators of the project. Once you are comfortable, you can write a blog post explaining how the project helped you and what problems it solved.
Similarly, you can also share your experience in a meetup or online event or create a tutorial video which will help others learn about the project.
If you want to write a blog post about Hypertrace, take a look at blog.hypertrace.org and let us know what you are interested in writing about. You can reach in the Welcome channel on Slack
Are you experienced but don't have time to invest? Be a part of Slack and GitHub communities and answer questions there. Or share your thoughts on open issues and feature ideas.
You can also help in reviewing PRs, moderating discussions or reporting bugs.
Videos are very popular these days. A short tutorial or sample app can help others build deeper understanding about the project. Even your smallest contribution can have a bigger impact on an open source project.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick up any of these ideas and dive into the world of Open Source. If you ask me, I will tell you to get started with documentation as it will give you a deeper understanding of the project and help you build confidence too.
|Jayesh is a founding engineer at Traceable and he works on Hypertrace and Hypertrace community building. He loves reading and you can find him on twitter and linkedin to discuss anything around tech.|