How to contribute to open source

Once in a while I talk to someone who sais something like this: “I love open source, especially project X – I would love to contribute back, but I don’t know how”. There are different variations. “I am not a programmer”, “I don’t understand the code – it’s so vast”, “I wouldn’t know how to submit these patch-things they ask for” etc.

To help these people I decided to create a small (seriously – 3 posts, excluding this one) series about contributing to open source projects. I hope this will help more people get involved as they realize how much they can help with little effort.

I intend to do the following:

  • How to contribute to open source without writing a single line of code
  • How to contribute code to open source project without knowing its inner workings
  • How to contribute code to open source – reporting bugs and creating patches

This should cover most of the ground to get people started. The topic itself is certainly much broader, and one could write a whole book about it, but why waste time for that, when there’s some great open source waiting for your contribution!


Davy Brion says:

excellent idea, looking forward to this 🙂