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Anwar Sadat Ayub
Anwar Sadat Ayub

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Mozilla Open Source Project: 10 Things I Learnt.

About a month ago, I signed up for Outreachy Internship Program where I got the chance to contribute to one of the Mozilla projects called Firefox Desktop Nightly and I learned a lot of things but here are just 10 of them:

  1. Introduce yourself in the introduction room. Let other members and mentors know you're new to contributing to the Mozilla project. Mentors will guide you on how to get the setup on your local machine and get to work.

  2. As a beginner, look for good-first-bug to start working on. Most of these issues come with instructions on how to solve them. Also, pay attention to any previous comments/discussions to get an understanding of what others have done. If you are still stuck, post your question on the introduction platform.

  3. Always post your questions to the platform. Do not DM questions to mentors unless agreed by the mentor. Posting questions on the platform may help others to learn from it and mentors do not have to repeat themselves when newcomers join.

  4. If you have started a thread with one mentor, make sure you stick with that mentor. Do not go asking other mentors about the same issue unless they offer to help. Mentors may refer others to also help.

  5. You can DM mentors but make sure to ask if they are comfortable. Mentors do not have much time on their hands considering the number of mentees.

  6. If you need help, look for the appropriate platform and post your question. Remember, there are many of these projects that are been worked on so taking your issues about setup to where they are discussing the new features, you might not get much help. You will probably be redirected to the appropriate platform.

  7. Do not be rude. You are not only learning to better at coding but also communication skills. If you feel intimated or hurt by someone else's comment/reply, step away from your computer and take some fresh air. Possibly another mentor/colleague will step in to guide you better.

  8. If new members ask a question and you have an idea, you should offer to help them because doing so will help to recap what you have learned and build your confidence too.

  9. It is very much OK if at a point you feel lost. Do not hold back from seeking help. I recommend that first, you do a little research and if it does not help, you can ask for assistance. But be polite when asking your questions.

  10. Lastly, have an open mind. Do not go into any project thinking you know it all and want to show off. If you know something, help others who do not know. And be ready to learn new things and you will be fine.

Lastly and most importantly, always read the contribution guidelines.

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