Open Source: Getting Started is Hard

Getting started is hard because the skills required are diverse:

  • An intermediate level understanding of Git. Setting up multiple remotes, forking repositories, and resetting your head happen.
  • Clear concise technical writing. You will infrequently if ever meet in person so you have to hash out technical issues with the written word.
  • Sphinx (ReStructured Text) and/or Markdown. Most projects are documented with one or both.
  • Docstrings and Tests. If you contribute new code, most projects will not accept the code until you add tests and include docstrings.

Getting started is hard because of all the little details:

  • What is a forking workflow for git?
  • How long can I work on my issue before someone else takes it?
  • What do I need to do once I open a Pull Request (PR)?
  • How do I get back to the branch I was working on?
  • What do I check to make sure my bug fix solved the issue?
  • How do I check that I did not mess up any other part of the documentation when I made my edits?

The elephant in the room:

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Edward Girling

Edward Girling

Mathematician, enjoys his knowledge distilled. Find my insight deep, my jokes laughable, my resources useful, connect with me on twitter @Rowlando_13