Have you thought about contributing to open-source software but haven't gotten around to it? Maybe you are already a seasoned contributor and looking for your next project.
The Self-Taught Tech Network is here to help.
With Hacktoberfest 2022 just around the corner, there has never been a better time to take the leap and start contributing to open-source software. There are lots of resources available to support your learning, but even then the idea of contributing can be intimidating.
That's why the community is here to support you through the process and offer a couple of welcoming, no-pressure projects to make your first taste of open-source a pleasant one.
What is Hacktoberfest?
Hacktoberfest is an initiative that was created to get more developers contributing to open-source software. The event is hosted by Digital Ocean and runs throughout October. It brings together developers from a range of backgrounds and skill sets from all over the world.
You can contribute by submitting a pull request (PR) to any project that has the hacktoberfest tag. This year, the first 40,000 people to complete 4 PRs will have the option of winning a Digital Ocean t-shirt or having a tree planted in their name.
- Improve your coding skills.
- Get a feel of what it's like to work on a real-life project with a similar process used by professional development teams.
- Get free swag or plant a world-saving tree!
- Build your network by collaborating with other developers.
- Find mentorship & guidance.
- Depending on the project, you can make a difference by having an impact on charitable causes.
- It can make a nice change from working on your own projects.
What is STTN?
Learning to code and transitioning into tech can be a daunting task to undertake alone. This is why The Self-Taught Tech Network (STTN) was created. It is a welcoming place open to self-taught developers at every level.
Teaching yourself to code isn't easy and it's not meant to be, or everyone would be doing it. Whilst we won't be able to do the hard work for you, we do offer you a place for support and guidance whilst growing your professional network.
All developers are self-taught in one way or another -there is no judgement here- you can openly ask any question.
If it sounds like your kind of place, come and join using the link below.
How do I contribute?
- Head over to GitHub
- Find a project tagged 'hacktoberfest'
- Read the CONTRIBUTING file
- Go to the issues list
- Select an issue you want to tackle (If you are new it can be good to select issues with the tag 'good first issue')
- Fork and clone the repo
- Open in your favourite IDE
- Make your changes
- Create a pull request
- Listen to feedback from the maintainers and make any relevant changes
- Complete the pull request
- Reach developer level 9000
This is just a quick rundown, if you want to dig further, check out these resources as an intro to open-source.
- Digital Ocean: INTRODUCTION TO GITHUB AND OPEN-SOURCE PROJECTS
- GitHub: HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO OPEN SOURCE
- DigitalOcean: WHAT IS OPEN SOURCE
- DigitalOcean: HOW TO USE GIT
- GitHub repository: FIRST-CONTRIBUTIONS
STTN Projects To Contribute To
The Self-Taught Tech Network will offer support and guidance to anyone wanting to contribute.
Making your first contributions to open-source can be intimidating, that's why we created a few projects to help ease you into making your first PR.
Perfect for: Developers of any level and language
Built with: Blazor, C#, HTML, CSS
Don't let the tech stack intimidate you the focus here isn't on your Blazor/C# knowledge. Sure you can fix bugs and improve the site, but the main purpose of this project is to introduce you to open-source alongside improving your technical writing. No matter your skill level or choice of language you can get involved.
All the info to contribute is covered in the README attached to the project on the GitHub repo here - https://github.com/JoelPickin/ProjectOMatic
The project-o-matic is a discovery tool. A place for developers to find inspiration for their next build. The projects are added via markdown files. These files give a brief overview of the idea and a list of each of the features.
We need developers to dig deep into their idea bank and create new project ideas for future developers to draw on as inspiration. This can be anything you can think of, from a ToDo list to a bug tracker.
The only skills you need to have here are the ability to type and be able to follow the instructions outlined in the GitHub repo to add the file to the correct place with the correct naming conventions.
Each of the projects that are randomly shown to users can have a solution attached. This works differently from how the projects are loaded but are just as easy to contribute with.
Solutions are a way to share what you have built whilst also improving your technical writing abilities.
You start by creating an account on Hashnode, or if you have an account already, create a new post. Using the Hashnode markdown editor, write up the steps you took to create a project, including any links, libraries, images etc, then hit publish.
Submit the details of your created post to the project by following the template provided on the repo page. Then make sure there is a relevant project available for your solution, if there isn't, add one following the steps above.
Perfect for: A bit of fun and the fundamentals
This project was the brainchild of Self-Taught Tech Network member Jeffrey. This is an easy starting point with no pressure for new developers to get to grips with making open-source contributions.
Here is what you can contribute to this project...
That's it. Anything you like.
You can add a link to another website/project you're working on, make the links pink, flip a div upside-down, add to the readme file. Anything.
You are encouraged to get involved, make mistakes, and break things.
We're all learning here and like many things in the coding world, you learn best by doing. So do!
There isn't much more to cover here other than just have fun, be curious and good luck with making your first contributions.
Oh... and don't be the person that did this 😂
If you want to get involved, check out the GitHub repo here - github.com/jeffreycharters/station
The projects above aren't the only ones you can contribute to. Check out the links below for other options of projects open to first-time contributors.
These resources are provided on the Digital Ocean website to further increase your understanding of open-source.
- GITHUB TRAINING KIT
- UNDERSTANDING THE GITHUB FLOW
- GETTING STARTED WITH GITLAB
- AN INTRODUCTION TO OPEN SOURCE
- HOW OPEN SOURCE CONTRIBUTIONS CAN BOOST YOUR CAREER
- HOW TO WRITE THE PERFECT PULL REQUEST
- HOW TO WRITE A GOOD COMMIT MESSAGE
- GITHUB DESKTOP
- COMMUNITY HELP IN OUR HACKTOBERFEST DISCORD SERVER
Thanks for reading and happy building!
Any questions or suggestions please get in touch on Twitter @TechPickleJoel or through the community.