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Mark Phelps for Flipt

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๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ”ง 3 Tiny Fixes You Can Make To Start Contributing to Any Open Source Project ๐Ÿš€

If youโ€™re new to open source, the process can be overwhelming.

But after onboarding 50+ contributors to Flipt, I realized there are ways to make starts easy for newbies.

In this article, I will be sharing 3 fixes that you can make to ANY open source project to get started.

Best part is that these are quick and easy to make and are technology independent, so you can use them to contribute to any open source project.

Letโ€™s dive in:

Fix #1: Fix a typo

Have you ever corrected:

  • A misspelled function name?
  • Grammatical errors in documentation?
  • Changed a variable name to a more accurate one?

If so, you can start your open source journey by doing the same.

typos gif

Such typos are pretty common in an open source project. And due to them the project might appear unprofessional or not well maintained to its users. So even with a low effort change like this, you can improve the overall quality of the project.

Fun fact: We actually use a code linter via golangci-linter to catch misspellings in code/comments using client9/misspell.

Fix #2: Fix a broken link

We all have clicked on a link which leads to nowhere.
And if itโ€™s a link to a critical resource like a tutorial or troubleshooting guide, it can be a frustrating and time consuming experience for the developers.

Broken links in your user-facing documentation not only make your project seem unprofessional, they also negatively affect SEO performance, making your project harder to find.

So, if you can find any non-functional links, or links guiding to the wrong location, fixing them will be a valuable contribution to a project.

Flipt broken link pull request

Flipt pull request fixing broken link

With your small contribution, you can make a big impact by saving developerโ€™s time and frustration.

This is a big reason why you should make your documentation source open also! We do this for our docs and it's paid off in spades.

Fix #3: Fix outdated documentation

Similar to broken links, stale documentation is another way to waste developer's time. They might waste time implementing or understanding an outdated piece of code.

Flipt outdated documentation pull request

Flipt pull request fixing outdated doc

Outdated documentation reduces confidence in your project especially for new users. Having docs that are incorrect/out of date puts an unnecessary roadblock in the way of users trying and integrating with your project.

Hereโ€™s some ways you can fix it:

  • Update outdated API descriptions
  • Correcting incorrect code examples
  • Removing references of deprecated code

This will contribute significantly to the project's long term sustainability and maintainability.

Wrapping Up

Thatโ€™s it!

Now you can choose any open source project of your liking, and make the above valuable fixes to get started quickly.

If you need any help with that, feel free to shoot queries in the discord server.
We have an awesome community there ๐Ÿ’—

If you found this valuable, follow me for more open source related articles ๐Ÿ™‚

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