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How I started contributing to Open Source

I started my open source journey from December’ 2014. I am quite fascinated with the concept of open source, I love contributing to code and it feels great to see my contribution doing something good for the community. You learn everyday, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how big is your contribution or how much code you write, you’ll still learn a lot. I met with some great people on IRC who were very generous and helped me a lot and even replied to my silliest doubts.

In December’ 2014, I searched for open source projects where I can use my Python/Django skills. Then I heard about www.openhatch.org. I contacted with the mentors through IRC and they were really helpful. I deployed the development version of the website (https://github.com/openhatch/oh-mainline/) and started to solve some easy bugs and write some documentations. After few easy tasks, I thought of writing some bigger feature. I wrote a tutorial on “Using the command line shell” (http://openhatch.org/missions/shell/about). I got great support and guidance from the openhatch community and I am really thankful for their help in introducing me and getting me started to open source.

One of my college senior (GSoCer 2014) told me about Google Summer of Code, and asked me to search for an organization which works on Python and submit a proposal for GSoC 2015. I looked at PSF’s summer of code wiki page: https://wiki.python.org/moin/SummerOfCode/2015
where I found MoinMoin pretty interesting (MoinMoin runs that wiki page 🙂
I looked at its ideas page: https://moinmo.in/GoogleSoc2015/InitialProjectIdeas
and I got even more interested to contribute to its code. I thought, I can use my knowledge in Python to contribute to its code.

I read its code, read the documentation, deployed the development environment and started to look to fix some easy bugs. I discussed about the code with the mentors and they were really helpful. I wrote a proposal to “Improve the Issue Tracker” of MoinMoin-2.0. I discussed with my mentors about what can be done to improve the issue tracker, new features, UI/UX improvements etc. and I am grateful for their guidance.

I am really happy tell that my proposal got selected for GSoC, 2015 🙂
And this was all because of the mentors who helped me in getting me started with opensource development and helped me to understand moin-2.0. Though I am not very proficient in Python but, I will try hard to work out every task. Its just a start and I will work hard to implement the project idea with the guidance of my mentors 🙂

Currently, its the “Community Bonding” period and I am discussing with my mentors about the implementation of the issue tracker, reading the documentation, understanding the technology stack used, understanding the code to be worked upon and find out what more can be done. I will post more about the “community bonding” phase in my next blog post.

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