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8-step guide on how to contribute to open-source

3 min read ·

  1. Find a project you have no idea about and never used before. You can use GitHub explorer for that: https://github.com/explore. No commits in five years? Not a problem. They might have been waiting for you this whole time.

  2. Do you see open issues? They’re for the weak. You’re creative and gonna fix issues they didn’t even know they had. Better yet, if you create a problem and then fix the problem, that’s two PRs. Gotta be smart if you want this free t-shirt.

  3. Time to start working on a PR. You have two options:

  1. Make your changes. You don’t have ideas what to do? What about changing I’m to I am or replacing words with synonyms? Or removing todo comments from the code. If you remove a to do item, it’s done, right? You can also add some typos, because our brains work this way that we don’t raelly relasie taht a wrod has a typo.

  2. Create a PR. Here’s an official guide on how to do it. That’s a lot of reading so you can ping maintainers again and ask for help.

  3. Now that your PR is there, time to make some noise. Go to Discord, Slack, or whatever they use, and post a link to your PR in every channel. You don’t have to add any context, your time is precious, they will guess what you need. If you don’t get a review in two hours, ping everyone again. Make sure to use @everyone or @here for better chances of success. Then wait.

  4. I’m kidding, there’s no time to wait. Use the power of social network. Twitter, email, GitHub, Discord, Slack, LinkedIN, Facebook, Instagram. Can you already smell this fresh new t-shirt?

  5. Now, we have a few options: