Find Open Source Projects For Beginners

Open source projects are a great way to learn coding. I’ve used them many times to teach myself along the way. As newbie, what should you do? This book helps you find open source projects for beginners on Github. It lists over 80 open source projects suitable for beginners!

That bug you’ve been tracking in your code? The one you can’t seem to find no matter what you do? Well, it’s not just a bug. It’s an awesome opportunity to write some code. For example, if I’m writing code that uses a database, I may decide that the database has too many features for my project and remove some of them. Now I have to use those features in another way. This is where coding for fun comes into play.

30 Seconds of Code

This is an extremely useful collection of JavaScript (JS) snippets that you can learn and understand in 30 seconds or less. This project aims to create a collection of quality resources for JS beginners as well as advanced developers. Fledgling devs can take advantage of this project to understand JS concepts quickly and easily. They also welcome new entries as long as they abide by the format; that the code can be grasped in 30 seconds or less.

In short, this is a repository of easily digestible data that can simultaneously be used to learn and contribute to beginners. This may not be a project that beginners can contribute to, but it is still a great start for people looking to grasp concepts.

Contributor Covenant

Contributor Covenant is a code of conduct for open source projects. By signing this code of conduct, the founders of the projects pledge to allow anyone to contribute to their project, regardless of “level of experience, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, personal appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or nationality.”

Although this project has less than 1,000 stars on GitHub, its popularity shows by the more than 10,000 open source project maintainers who have signed the pledge, including SwiftAtomAngularJSRVMMozilla Webmaker, and the .NET Foundation. Contributor Covenant maintainers are currently looking for non-native English speakers willing to translate the pledge into other languages. If this sounds interesting to you, head over to this GitHub issue.

Mozilla Firefox Source Tree

Mozilla’s Firefox Source Tree contains dozens of projects on which you can get your hands dirty. Not only they are welcoming new contributors, but they also provide extensive documentation on how to contribute to their projects. Since the whole process seems long, they have a separate and dedicated channel where you can ask doubts and ask for help. On their documentation page, they have a column where they have specially mentioned websites, bugs, open issues, etc. for students and people who want to start contributing to open source.

First Contributions

This project is, quite obviously, for GitHub users who are looking to make their first contribution to GitHub. It walks you through the procedural steps that you would have to take to make a contribution to open source projects. After you are done, it will also redirect you to a list of projects you can tackle through their own webpage. It has over 13,200 stars and almost 33,000 forks on GitHub.

DuckDuckGo’s Instant Answers

For those of you who have never heard of it, DuckDuckGo is a privacy-conscious search engine that doesn’t track users. Instant Answers is a feature that provides answers without needing to open up a website.

Hundreds of people have already contributed to their instant answers, and there are plenty more suggestions on their ideas page.

DuckDuckGo offers good documentation to get you started and to recommend new users by creating cheat sheets. If you want to know what DuckDuckGo cheat sheets look like, just go to their website and type in “WordPress cheat sheet” to see the cheat sheet I developed as an example. If you get stuck, you can join their Slack channel and check out their wiki on GitHub.

Visual Studio Code

While programming or building a project we all have used Visual Studio Code, isn’t it? So why not contribute to the software you have a great about! VS Code is a huge open-source software currently having more than five thousand open issues. This means there is a great scope for new beginners to find bugs that they can resolve and open other issues that they find while using VS Code itself. There are many ways in which you can contribute to their project. This can be either by submitting bugs, reviewing source code changes, submitting new feature requests, reviewing documentation and finding typos, or adding new content. 

TensorFlow Models

TensorFlow projects are for those new developers who are interested in Machine Learning and Deep Learning. Beginners should ideally learn from some TensorFlow Tutorials and observe the official models before contributing to any project. 

Currently, the GitHub TensorFlow Model Garden contains projects of Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision. These official models are a collection that uses TensorFlow’s high-level APIs and is to be properly curated, tested, and updated to keep up with the latest build. These models are also intended to be properly optimized so that they run the same or faster with each new build.

Mozilla projects

There’s no doubt that Mozilla is one of the leading organizations in the world of open source. Contributing to Mozilla projects may not look easy at first glance—maintainers label beginner-friendly issues appropriately, but they’re hard to find because there are so many of them. Luckily, Josh Matthews has created a simple website called Bugs Ahoy that allows you to search through all of Mozilla’s bug reports to filter them to find the ones that are most relevant to your areas of interest.

High-level projects

There are many projects on GitHub and other similar sources that are aimed at beginners. Some of these are meant to educate by providing you with study materials, while others are more like walkthroughs or practice exercises. Whatever the case may be, these are beginner-friendly projects and often the place to start. However, this is not at all the case in all projects marked as a “good first issue”.

Some of the high-level apps, websites, platforms, and projects also offer work that is fit for beginners. This is mainly because the high-level works are done by people who have the necessary qualifications to do so, but the project is still open-sourced and contains many tasks to be done on all levels of difficulty. Here are some intricate projects that also offer a spot for the newcomers to tackle real issues while learning the ropes.

Pytorch Library

It is one of the most famous deep learning and machine learning libraries which is majorly used as a replacement for NumPy and as a deep learning reach platform providing a great deal of flexibility and speed. Since it has a 90-day release period, you can file a new issue if you find a bug. You can also contribute new features, utility functions, or extensions to the core by opening a new PR with discussion. It also has more than five thousand open issues, and therefore it could be a good place to start!

These were some repositories where you could get started with the issues marked for beginners. The projects are maintained by a lot of people who are always there to help. Not only that, but the open-source community is huge and there are people which will help you whenever you get stuck. So get going!

Zulip

Zulip is one of the fastest-growing open-source projects on the internet and is an open-source group chat application. It combines instant real-time messaging with the utility of threaded conversations and runs on open-source platforms. The app’s team offers many tasks that a beginner level programmer can perform to learn as well as add to their portfolio.

On Zulip, you can be one of the many contributors to the platform by contributing code as well as performing non-code contributions such as reporting issues, translation, or giving feedback to improve the app. You can also host and run a Zulip server, which runs on many platforms, including Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic, Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial, and Debian 9 Stretch.

TypeScript

Microsoft’s TypeScript is a programming language for application-scale JavaScript that adds optional types to support tools for large-scale JavaScript applications. Currently, having close to five thousand open issues, it could be a great place to start since you can encounter all types of issues, be it beginner or expert. As a contributor, you could submit bugs, review source code changes, and contribute to bug fixes. You can also join their Discord community in case you are stuck somewhere!

Neovim

Neovim is tagged “good first issue” on GitHub, which indicates that it is suitable for people looking for their first open-source projects on GitHub. Vim is a powerful text editor over two decades old and has a rich, fostering community surrounding it. It has accumulated over 300,000 lines of C89 code that very few people can even comprehend, and even fewer dare to touch. 

Neovim puts forward a solution to the headache of fostering Vim by re-factoring its source code. This aims to make maintenance easier by accelerating bug fixes and addition of new features, add modern UI without affecting the source code, splitting the work among multiple devs, and add a new plugin architecture that will improve its extensibility power.  

This project is not a mission to rewrite Vim but to change it to suit modern times. The changes will have as little impact as possible on the source code. With almost 40,000 stars on GitHub, this is a very popular project in the community.

Conclusion

Get started with an open source project today. We’ll show you the tools, the tips and tricks, and the right resources to help you along.

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