I made my first pull request (PR) to an open-source project six years ago. Technically, it was pre-work for a bootcamp that I would eventually complete, but it started my journey into open source.
It wasn’t until a couple of years later, after completing my bootcamp, that I saw how open source could have benefitted me during my learning journey.
I didn’t let regret stop me from getting involved, though. One of the most important parts of my open source software (OSS) journey was making contributions. It was great knowing that I had the support of a community of people if and when I got stuck, who were also there to hold me accountable.
Starting on July 23rd, exactly 100 days from the end of Hacktoberfest, OpenSauced is launching a #100DaysOfOSS campaign. It will create a community of contributors who support each other on the journey of learning more about open source, contributing, and developing our skills. And we want you to join us.
What is Open Source?
Open source is a collaborative approach to software development that encourages transparency, community-driven contributions, and sharing of source code.
In an open-source project, the underlying codebase is accessible to the public, allowing anyone to view, modify, and distribute it freely.
You might have used or contributed to open-source software through platforms like GitHub or GitLab. In fact, freeCodeCamp has 216 open source projects.
The #100daysofOSS challenge celebrates the spirit of open source by encouraging you to actively learn more about open source, engage with open source projects, and contribute your skills and ideas to the greater community.
Whether you're a beginner or have some experience, this challenge is an opportunity to sharpen your technical skills and be part of a larger community that can support you and that you can support as well.
What is the #100daysofOSS Challenge?
#100DaysOfOSS is a 100-day long challenge, starting July 23rd, that encourages you – no matter where you are in your coding journey – to learn more about open source. As part of the challenge, you'll get to create meaningful contributions and engage with a supportive community.
The challenge's goal is to help you enhance your skills, expand your abilities, and gain practical experience in open-source software. The challenge also aims to support maintainers, onboard more contributors into open source, and positively grow the OSS community.
You don’t have to know how to code to participate, though! There are many different ways to participate, including:
- Writing a blog post or social media post highlighting an open source project that you find interesting
- Exploring documentation
- Triaging issues
- Writing issues
- Attending an event that focuses on open source
- Exploring open source projects to contribute to
The Importance of Open Source Contributions
In 2022, there were 413 million contributions to open source (Source: Octoverse). Contributions can be creating features, bug fixes, documentation updates, and more.
For #100DaysOfOSS, you should contribute in ways that are meaningful to you. You don’t have to set a goal from day one, but consider some of the reasons to participate and how that will impact your journey.
Personal Growth and Impact
You don’t have to know how to code to contribute. But it’s important to remember that contributing to open source is a pathway to personal growth and recognition.
According to one study, 93% of the study’s participants said that they contributed to open source because “it was a good source for learning new things” (Source: The Shifting Sands of Motivation: Revisiting What Drives Contributors in Open Source).
Learning more about the OSS ecosystem, finding ways to contribute, and supporting other contributors provides plenty of opportunities to learn new things, practice what you’ve learned, and impact the larger tech industry.
You’ll also have the chance to contribute to real-world projects, increasing your knowledge and understanding of working on projects and strengthening your resume.
Contributing for a Cause
Finding ways to contribute to projects that are meaningful to your life can be motivating. There are open-source projects that support education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability, among many other areas – so there's likely a project out there that will inspire you if you’re passionate about the cause.
Leveraging technology for a better world is an altruistic motivator that resonates with many contributors.
By participating in #100DaysOfOSS together, you’ll have support, accountability, and be more likely to succeed.
Some benefits to working together are increased motivation and engagement, opportunities for social interactions through communication, collaboration, and problem-solving, deeper understanding of what you’re working on through interactions, and increased self-esteem.
A Study by Harvard Business Review concluded that those who write down their goals, share progress, and have accountability partners are significantly more likely to achieve their desired outcomes (Source: Kaitlin Woolley and Ayelet Fishbach).
With #100daysofOSS, you can track your progress, engage with the community, and hold yourself accountable throughout the challenge. We’ll all be here to cheer each other on, support each other when we hit a challenging time, and celebrate our wins.
How to Get Started with #100DaysOfOSS
Ready to get started? Check out the complete documentation, sign up, and check out our events like our Intro to Open Source workshops and Twitter Spaces on our #100DaysOfOSS documentation page.
And if you don't start on July 23rd, that's ok too! Join in when you're ready and able. Remember, something done together is always better. Let's take these hundred days to learn, grow, and contribute together.