When you think of open source contributions, do you immediately think of code?
It’s a common misconception that you have to code to contribute to open source. Open source is for everyone. Folks with various skill sets, like – designers, writers, artists, marketers, software testers, and project managers, play essential roles in open source. Like proprietary projects, open source projects may not survive long-term without well-designed logos, a quality user experience, clear documentation, triaged tickets, sufficient testing, and a product roadmap. Projects without those characteristics might exist, but they’re less sustainable. While these roles are paramount, open source projects tend to have fewer contributors with skills beyond code because:
- Contributors without coding experience may not know HOW to contribute to projects on code-driven platforms like GitHub and GitLab.
- Maintainers may not always know how to present non-coding opportunities even though they need help with those tasks.
- The software engineering industry wrongly undervalues non-coding skills, but not because these skills aren’t valuable. Programmer culture sometimes encourages a god complex. I say this as a software engineer myself, but writing logic to create pretty pictures on the internet doesn’t mean we’re better than others. The reality is various roles, and skill sets work together to breed success.
This year, Digital Ocean, GitHub, and GitLab are working to remove these obstacles by encouraging non-code contributions via Hacktoberfest. Hacktoberfest is an annual event that encourages folks of all experience levels to contribute to open source. Participants who complete four or more Hacktoberfest-accepted tasks during October earn swag or a tree planted in their name. Fill out the registration form and read the participation guide to get started! Keep in mind that maintainers generally welcome contributions year-round, but Hacktoberfest is an industry-wide effort to focus on open source.
In this blog post, I’ll showcase issues and tasks that don’t require coding to inspire contributors and maintainers. Here's a list of projects looking for design, content creation, accessibility, testing, and more!
Support and Administration
https://github.com/data-umbrella/event-transcripts/issues/151 - Data Umbrella is looking for someone to add a link and date to their documentation. They suggest that knowing Git and Markdown may help!
https://github.com/pymc-devs/video-timestamps - Data Umbrella is looking for someone to add timestamps to their videos.
https://github.com/yougotthisconf/yougotthis.io/issues/31 - You Got This needs someone to add summaries of their videos.
https://github.com/achasveachas/hug-bot/issues/12 - Hug Bot is looking for folks to add quotes for status messages.
https://github.com/alan-turing-institute/the-turing-way/issues/748 - Add a link to The Turing Way’s glossary.
https://github.com/process-analytics/bpmn-visualization-examples/issues/388 - Add usage examples for Process Analytics
- https://mattermost.com/blog/join-our-qa-testing-community/ - Mattermost is looking for QA testers. They’re looking for folks to “test cutting-edge features, review proposed UI/UX changes, and identify bugs and other issues with new versions of Mattermost.”
- https://github.com/build-trust/ockam/issues/3631 Ockcam is gathering user feedback for their CLI, so all you need to provide is your thoughts on the experience!
Content Creation (Writing, video, and more)
- Mattermost is looking for folks to blog about their product.
- Appwrite needs a blog post about importing WordPress users to Appwrite.
- Learn WordPress is asking contributors to create tutorials, facilitate an online workshop, update and contribute lesson plans, or update and contribute courses.
- Mattermost is looking for folks to update their documentation.
- https://github.com/SeleniumHQ/seleniumhq.github.io/issues/1070 - SeleniumHQ hopes to include documentation for various features.
- https://github.com/aws-amplify/docs/issues/4665 - Improve the AWS Amplify documentation.
- https://github.com/localstack/docs/issues - Pick up any issue within LocalStack’s documentation
- https://github.com/withastro/docs/blob/main/.github/hacktoberfest.md - If you’re multilingual, you can help Astro translate their documentation. Watch their video below to understand how to contribute translations to Astro: https://twitter.com/astrodotbuild/status/1576221838950412289?s=20&t=dQwY2C-ndyqxXzaHE5NBLQ
- https://github.com/mishmanners/mish-friendly-food/issues/10 - Translate food names into various languages for Mish’s Friendly Food.
- https://github.com/nickytonline/connect-four/issues/27 - @nicktonline wants a design for his project’s favicon.
- https://github.com/data-umbrella/event-board-web/issues/215 - Create a logo for the Data Umbrella’s event board.
- https://github.com/mishmanners/mish-friendly-food/issues/17 - Add a favicon to Mish’s Friendly Food website
- https://github.com/freeCodeCamp/Developer_Quiz_Site/issues/374 - If you know good web accessibility quiz questions, add them to FreeCodeCamp’s DeveloperQuiz site.
Little to no code
- Camunda has multiple repositories that you can explore!
- https://github.com/open-sauced/docs.opensauced.pizza/issues/48 - Enable Open Sauced to display the correct logo by changing the file path
- Stay tuned for issues from The Tinybird ClickHouse Knowledge Base
Don't worry if most or all of the issues are assigned when you read this post. You can find similar issues to work on at github.com/hacktoberfest by using the examples above! You can also check out my Twitter thread for more issues.
Oldest comments (5)
Thank you for sharing! I'm excited to maybe claim a few of these haha :)
Thanks for your post
We're also mentioning Tutorials or Example apps creation in our contribution guide. For some projects (ours included), it's beneficial in multiple ways at the same time.
1) Testing (bugs can be found during tutorial creation)
2) User Adoption
3) Content marketing
Unfortunately, it's often forgotten despite it's a straightforward way to contribute to specific projects :)
BTW if you'd like to contribute to a simple language for developing full-stack React + Node web apps with less code -- join us!
Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for the great article, as usual!
I also covered this topic myself, if someone wants an additional take, so let me share it here :D
Open Source is not only writing code 🙅♂️🧑💻
Leonardo Montini for This is Learning ・ Aug 31 ・ 4 min read
The main topics remain the same, but I also slightly put the attention to StackOverflow.
Answering (and even asking!) questions about Open Source projects also serves as raising awareness to those projects and automatically generates documentation as the answer remains there on StackOverflow for everyone else looking for it! :)