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It was early 2010s, my Dad introduced to me this word "Linux". A 10yo old me was curious to know more about it so I did what most software engineers do -> Googling.
This is when I heard the word "open source" for the 1st time in my life. Every popular software I read about had the term "open source" in it. As I couldn't understand the meaning of it I just assumed that every cool software is open source xD.
It wasn't until after an almost a decade I got into college, covid exploded and I started programming. In the 2nd year of my college we had Java as our subject and we had assignments around it. To help everyone in my class I created a solution repository to all our assignments. Check out the repo here.
I never realised this but this was my 1st step into open source here's how. I created solutions for these questions that helped my friends in completing their assignments. But not everything was correct in it, there were thing that weren't done correctly. Luckily some of my friends contributed to it and made it even better.
And this is what open source is, People contribute to a project by fixing issues, adding features and make it much better. I didn't actually start contributing was only collaborating with my college friends on some projects.
Later in January 2021 I become the recipient of GDC fellowship and got mentored by amazing people like Jacob Sherin & Jasim Basheer. I was completing my capstone project in the program, my mentors used to create github issues for things that can be improved/added and I used to created pull requests for them. This process of (issue -> PR) also got me my life's 1st code review. This wasn't a 1-liner comment or something it was a very insightful discussion you can check out some those conversations here:
This talk by Goutham gave a lot insights on getting started with open source and also learning programming, building projects and all. It's literally a gold mine for people who want to get started with this stuff so I highly reccomend it to everyone.
After getting motivated I started looking for some open source projects to contribute to, being a massive fan of Vercel I checked their open source projects out. This is when I found Virtual events starter kit other than the project being amazing it also had an easy issue open I knew this was my chance to make a contribution.
And I took it! On 9th March 2021 I created this Pull request which got merged marking my 1st ever Open source contribution. At the end of this blog you will find out how this contribution meant so much to me.
On 17th march I joined coronasafe organization which is a free and open-source disaster management system that is used by National Health Mission, Government of India and various state governments for reimaging digital war rooms.
At the end of March I started working on the Arike project, tho I didn't contribute much to this project it was great learning trunk-based development & pair programming.
In April As India was witnessing its devastating 2nd wave of covid-19. Due to this, there was a shortage of oxygen cylinders, medicines, hospital beds.
To solve this problem we started working on the "Life project" which was started with less than 40 volunteers grew to over 900+ volunteers and 15+ organizatons from around the globe in under 1 month. Because of the project, I got to closely work with executives from NYSE, Disney+Hotstar, Dropbox and many more.
I am grateful for Bodhish Thomas for mentoring me throughout the project. This project truly showcases how much power an open source project .
Due to overexertion, I got burned out for the 1st time in my life. Since the project was stabilizing I decided to take some time off. Some weeks later I joined 100ms.
Also I wasn't always able to contribute to project many times I failed to understand the fix but I always learned something new, for example this issue I got to learn about how notification works in Gnome even though I wasn't able to find the fix xD.
In December I started working on a project in 100ms which was in collaboration with ▲ Vercel. And guess which project was it? The same project where I did my 1st contribution to!
Never thought I would get an invite from the OG Lee Robinson himself.
One thing that keeps me pushing to contribute to open source is Linus Torvalds who still contributes to linux even after 20+ years of its creation.
So why stop? Just push it.
Feel fee to text me on twitter if you have any questions around getting start with open-source or anything. Have a great day!