Image by Anas Alshanti

Being a Newbie in the Open Source Community

You always are going to be new at something at some point. For me this week was the Open Source Community. Open-source software is code that is designed to be publicly accessible — anyone can see, modify, and distribute the code as they see fit.

Pretty awesome, right? Examples of Open Source projects are React, Linux OS, Spring Boot, and many more.

I think of Open Source Code as something that is constantly on the move. Living code, rather than code that is closed and becomes stagnant, and sometimes obsolete.

Getting involved in the Open Source Community means you can get a lot of value, for the transparency of the projects, the reliability, and in the end, the collaboration between people around the globe.

👽Looking for good first issues 👾

There are a lot of things for you to improve within the community. It can be a bug, a really cool feature, or an enhancement. For me, I was on the lookout for everything I could make myself useful. I started searching for projects in my main stacks: JavaScript and Java.

There is a big community, I am not going to lie. But I think the main key to success on Open Source is reading and keeping an open mind. There would be times when something can be too big for you to handle, but with patience, I think you can find the right fit or issue for you.

✍️Selecting possible winners👊

Like I said before, the community is big and there are a lot of cool projects out there. It can be overwhelming if you let it be. I started selecting some good first issues and getting in contact with the maintainers in case of any future questions.

Just remember that people are kind, problems usually work out, so why not improve our GitHub contributions dashboard in the way?

📃Getting started with debugging and reading someones else's code🛠

Since I started selecting my issues I installed the required environment for each project. A great tip someone told me not so long ago is that: get to know your shortcuts!

Using shortcuts in your preferred text editor or IDE can really improve your workflow, especially when you are reading a lot of code between files. This would be my very first advice.

My second advice is to start using the debugging tools of your navigator or preferred text editor or IDE. When working with bugs, tracking the main issue with debugging tools can be really helpful.

Analyzing successes and failures 📝

This week I did not do much with code in terms of the code, but one success I can say how I decided to organize the Open Source projects. I really liked my approach, I used a Notion list and I started to label it with the stack and difficulty.

One failure is I started going really big at first, I wanted to contribute to really big projects. And I mean, it is possible, but you need to keep in mind you are going to run the project locally, so be aware of that.

Next steps 🔜

This next week I will be starting working with the issues I pick in my main stacks: Java and JavaScript. If everything goes as planned, I would have to pull requests published by the end of the week.

And remember, Open source is about a lot more than code, is about the community.

In this house we love, cherish, respect, and use the oxford comma.

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Jules

In this house we love, cherish, respect, and use the oxford comma.

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