How to start contributing to Python Open Source Projects
Python is the most popular programming language in the world right now capturing close to 36% of the market.
The greatest thing about Python is its countless modules, libraries, and frameworks and the awesome community that keeps contributing and making python even better day by day.
As a newbie, contributing to open source projects can be a huge source of learning and connecting with the community.
In this article we will tell you the step by step process to start contributing to open source projects:
Find a Good Project
Find a project that you find interesting, do not contribute only for the sake of contribution. The idea of the project must resonate to you as only then will you be able to spend the required time and effort on it.
It should be a project that you might have used in any of your project and felt that it might require some additional features or you found some bugs.
Ensure that it is an active Project
It’s very important that you select a project which is actively maintained by the contributors. If you send a pull request (PR) to a dormant or unmaintained project, your work may never be reviewed and merged.
Use github to track this.
Here are a few parameters that you can check :
Contributors – Check if the number of contributors is increasing or decreasing. If it is increasing, it means that the project is trending and developers are interested in the project. It also means that creators are allowing people to join as contributors. If the number is not increasing, it can either mean that the project is going to be dead soon or the creator is not accepting any new contributors.
Commits – When was the last commit done? If you see a commit which is a week or month old, it’s a sign that the project is being maintained and contributing to it is a good idea.
Maintainers – how many people maintain the project? The more of them, the better. It means that the project has more potential to attract highly-skilled mentors to help you with your code. This is by far the best way to improve as a programmer.
Chatroom Activity – Do you see activity in the chatroom ? If Yes, it means you’ll be able to get help quickly.
Connect with People behind the Project
Try to contact the people currently working on the project, either through twitter, linkedin or facebook groups and ask for help.
Building these connections will take time. But once the project maintainers get to know you, you’ll eventually get the opportunity to be accepted and things will take off from there.
Start with small fixes
When approaching project creators, ask them if you could help with something small. It can be fixing typos or even cleaning up the documentation.
Maintainers of open-source projects appreciate it when first-time contributors offer to help in simple tasks like improving the project’s documentation, simply, because nobody else is willing to do it.
Which Projects are good to start contributing?
There are a lot of projects that welcome beginners to make contributions. Pleas ego through the following link to find a big list of good open source projects from the following link :
Here are a few that we recommend:
- coala – this library provides a unified command-line interface for linting and fixing code (works not only for Python). https://github.com/coala/coala/labels/difficulty%2Fnewcomer
- Ansible– that one is a simple IT automation platform. https://github.com/ansible/ansible/labels/easyfix
- cookiecutter– a command-line utility that creates projects from project templates (called cookiecutters) (), for example, Python package projects or a jQuery plugin. https://github.com/cookiecutter/cookiecutter/labels/low-hanging-fruit
- scrapy– this library offers a fast and high-level framework for web crawling & scraping written in Python. https://github.com/scrapy/scrapy/labels/good%20first%20issue