The milestone project for the end of Phase 2 of the Break Into Tech Skillcrush blueprint is to contribute to an open source project. This entails finding a project with issues on Github, claiming the issue, fixing it, and submitting a pull request to the owners/maintainers of the code.
As mentioned in the directions from Skillcrush, finding an issue for a first-timer can be a little challenging. I did a good amount of poking around on GitHub, and got fairly overwhelmed. The issues seemed waaaay beyond anything I would even know where to start to fix. But, plenty of folks want to encourage first timers to submit their first pull request and demystify the process, so I knew that somewhere out there an issue was waiting for me.
I came across the GitHub home of Public Lab – “A community where you can learn how to investigate environmental concerns. Using inexpensive DIY techniques, we seek to change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms.”
Public Lab seems to look specifically for first time and beginner contributors, which is great. But, the other problem seemed that issues got claimed very quickly. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to be “first” to an issue to snag it.
Then one sleepy morning as I was sipping my coffee before work, an email came in for an FTO (first-timers only) issue. I perked right up and went over and took a look, and was like – well, I *think* I can do this. The Public Lab folks are also very much – let us know if you need help, we’ll help you! So I asked to claim it and got the thumb’s up to proceed. The issue was for a project called Plots2, a collaborative knowledge-exchange platform in Rails.
The solution to the issue was to remove three lines of code from an erb file. This would remove a duplicate link to the project’s wiki. YAAAY to the Ruby course in Skillcrush for teaching what an erb file is, and to not be totally freaked out about working in one.
So that same evening, I forked and cloned the project, followed the instructions to remove the lines, created and submitted a pull request, and held my breath! The pull was accepted, and merged a week or so later. Yaaaay! Here’s a link – https://github.com/publiclab/plots2/pull/5653.
Happy to have this milestone wrapped up, and can’t wait to do more contributing to open source!