Why you Should Contribute to Open-Source
Contributing to open source projects can be a rewarding way to learn, teach, share, and build experience.
There are plenty of reasons why you should contribute to an open source project, such as:
- To improve the software you rely on daily.
- To find a mentor if you need one.
- To learn new skills or improve on existing ones.
- To share your skills.
- To gain a much deeper knowledge about the software you’re using.
- To build up your reputation and help grow your career.
- Plus, it’s fun and gives you personal satisfaction and hey, you never know who is watching, maybe it’s your next employer or partner 🙂.
What do you mean by open-source contribution?
Open-Source Software is a type of software whose code is publicly available to use and modify. Open-Source Contribution involves contributing to the development or improvement of open-source software.
Some popular Open-Source Software are the Linux Operating System, Android, Mozilla Firefox, Chromium (which powers Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge), VSCode IDE, VLC Media Player, WordPress Content Manager System, etc.
Open Source is something each one of us is inevitably using every day, possibly without being aware of it. Interestingly the code that resulted in the first manned mission to the moon is also open-sourced. Yes, I am talking about Apollo 11.
Why should I contribute to open-source?
Ever wonder if all these projects/software were single-handedly maintained by a single developer?
What would have been its impact on them and pretty much on us?
The software would not have had so many features and upgradations. This is where open source contribution comes in. Contributors from around the world help develop and improve the software for every one of us who use it. Being a contributor will give you the super-power to be a part of something that is impacting so many lives.
Apart from the impact that you get to create, it also helps you become a better developer and with time a good mentor, leader, and passionate team player.
Prerequisites before starting to contribute
Learn a programming language
Since open-source contribution requires you to read/write code if you want to be involved in its development, you are required to learn a programming language to get started. You can get started with any language of your choice. You can easily learn another language at a later stage if a project requires it.
Many people help with documentation, translation, etc as well which does not require programming. If you do not want to contribute as a developer then you can skip this step.