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Find Open Source Projects That Need Help

This site is focused on open source projects that can use help in development. Are you looking to contribute to the open source community? Looking for a project to show off your software development skills? Here’s your chance! We’re actively building out feature sets and content on this site. Feel free to reach out, we have feedback channels here.

Are you a developer looking to help a great open source project out? Do you want to get involved in the open source community? This site lists all of the most active open source projects that are currently looking for contributors. You can filter listings by programming language, country of origin, and skill level needed. There is also a convenient list of projects which need the most help at the top. If a project catches your eye, you can view its details page which includes contact information and often a brief description. Hope this helps you find something interesting to contribute to!

Get to know GitHub

GitHub is the most popular platform for open source collaboration, so you’ll probably use it when exploring the world of OSS. First, you need to create a GitHub account and read the guide that helps you get started. On GitHub, you can contribute to projects by submitting issues and contributing code. Submitting issues means sending messages about errors in applications and suggesting ways to fix them. Contributing code involves sending pull requests with your corrections and improvements.

License – If a project does not have an open source license, then it is not open source. The license helps protect contributors and users. Businesses and savvy developers usually won’t touch a project without this protection. If you’re wondering how to get one, click Here to read more.

Learn the basics

When working with GitHub, you should know how to use Git – one of the most popular version control tools (also known as revision control tools). Because developers constantly make changes to their code, they need a system that can manage those changes in a central repository. In this way, everyone involved in the development process can download a given piece of software, make changes, and submit updates.

Discovering relevant projects

If there’s a particular topic that interests you, visit github.com/topics/<topic>. For example, if you are interested in machine learning, you can find relevant projects and good first issues by visiting https://github.com/topics/machine-learning. You can browse popular topics by visiting Topics. You can also search for repositories that match a topic you’re interested in. For more information, see “Searching for repositories.”

If you’ve been active on GitHub.com, you can find personalized recommendations for projects and good first issues based on your past contributions, stars, and other activities in Explore. You can also sign up for the Explore newsletter to receive emails about opportunities to contribute to GitHub based on your interests. To sign up, see Explore email newsletter.

Keep up with recent activity from repositories you watch and people you follow in the “All activity” section of your personal dashboard. For more information, see “About your personal dashboard.”

You can connect with developers around the world in GitHub Community Support to ask and answer questions, learn, and interact directly with GitHub staff.

CODE_OF_CONDUCT – A code of conduct is a document that establishes your expectations for how your contributors and participants behave. Adopting and enforcing a code of conduct can help create a positive environment for your community.

CommCare

CommCareHQ is the server backend for CommCare, the world’s largest platform for designing, managing, and deploying robust, offline-first, mobile applications to frontline workers worldwide. By replacing paper-based forms, frontline workers can use CommCare to track and support their clients with registration forms, checklists, SMS reminders, and multimedia. Also has contributor opportunities for those with JavaScript knowledge.

Join the community

You can easily join an open source project by subscribing to the mailing list for that project. You can find mailing lists on official websites or on GitHub pages. After being accepted to the list, you can communicate with team members and get support if necessary. Thanks to the vibrant communities present in nearly every OSS project, you are likely to get quick replies to your questions.

Trends.earth

Trends.Earth (formerly the Land Degradation Monitoring Toolbox) is a QGIS plugin that supports land change monitoring, including changes in productivity, land cover, and soil organic carbon. The tool can help to monitor land degradation for reporting to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), as well as tracking progress towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3, Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).

PEcAn Project

The Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn) is an integrated ecological bioinformatics toolbox. This project is motivated by the fact that many of the most pressing questions about global change are not necessarily limited by the need to collect new data as much as by our ability to synthesize existing data. PEcAn seeks to improve this ability by developing a framework for sensibly integrating multiple data sources.

All skills are welcomed

Even non-programmers can contribute to open source projects! Documentation is needed for all projects, and sometimes this is poorly written and maintained. Thus, you can help by writing, updating or even translating documentation. Also, your design skills might come in handy: every application needs an interface, after all. Finally, you can contribute by managing a community by replying to questions and guiding newcomers.

SignDict

SignDict is an open sign language dictionary in which you can contribute to its source code or to the dictionary itself by adding a sign that is missing. SignDict believes that communication is the key to an open society and has created a living dictionary to help increase the integration of deaf communities. Also has contributor opportunities for those with HTML or Elixer knowledge.

Terrastories

Terrastories is a geostorytelling application built to enable indigenous and other local communities to locate and map their own oral storytelling traditions about places of significant meaning or value to them. Powered by the Mapbox platform, Terrastories is designed to be entirely offline-compatible, so that remote communities can access the application entirely without needing internet connectivity. Also has contributor opportunities for those with Ruby or Docker knowledge.

Conclusion

Are you a coder looking for a way to contribute back to the community? Maybe you are a designer, or have some marketing/business skills. The Directory is a great place to find projects in all disciplines that could use your help. This is a great place to find something you’re good at and enjoy doing.

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