Re: [ljc] Improving as a developer, Open Source Projects and "bedroom" coding projects

From: user 6.
Sent on: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 8:23 AM
On 9 October[masked]:18, Andy Dickinson <[address removed]> wrote:
>
> One thing I think might be useful would be to work on an Open Source project,
> but this is another area where I don't even know where to start. How do you go
> about finding an open source project to get involved in? And (if) you find
> one how do you start to get involved. Part of me always worries that the code
> I write isn't going to be good or suitable (which is a vicious circle in that
> the only way to find out if it is any good and improve it is to have other
> people look at it etc etc).

The key things about getting involved in an open source project are:

  * Find one which scratches an itch - it's going to be far easier for you to
    contribute to an open source project which interests you, and make
    improvements where you are affected by the outcome. This could be a
    particular thing you want to run on a website, some app you want to run
    at home or perhaps a mobile app (e.g. Java ME or Android)

  * Collaboration is key - no-one's going to expect you to write brilliant
    code after checking out a project and coming up with anidea.
    Perhaps start with submitting patches to the documentation if you found
    getting started difficult; or test new release candidates before release.
    Once you understand the project dynamics you'll be better able to
    contribute. Watch and understand who is involved.

  * Don't just go off and work on something for a few weeks and then
    submit it. This is for two reasons: 1) you'll be too attached to your
    implementation to accept the inevitable criticism/changes that are
    wanted by the project owners; 2) it may not align, or may duplicate,
    changes that are already planned. Post to the mailing lists about
    your idea to get feedback before, and during, implementation.

However, any open source project is always happy to see new blood,
especially if they know their limits and are willing to learn from the
project; and contribute in different ways.

HTH,

Andrew

-- 
Andrew Flegg -- mailto:[address removed]  |  http://www.bleb.o...­

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