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Ken Eucker
Ken Eucker

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My Success in Open Source projects on GitHub

I am happy to be able to speak to some success in open source collaboration as the turn of 2019 has proven to be a year of contributions to projects much larger than myself. It's all quite nerdy from here on out, so feel free to enjoy as much of the tl;dr as you can and know that I am excited for more of the same!

tl;dr: responded to security issues on many gulp packages, made contributions to gulp-dropbox, became a maintainer and contributor for gulp-include, made dependency updates to understrap/understrap-child, and published my first React component on npm!

Back in November of 2018, a security issue was discovered in a package that was widely distributed as a dependency for many other packages. I discovered this after running a security audit on my dependencies and discovered that many were simply out of date. In responding to the security issue, I found myself trying to reach out to and contact directly the developers who had projects from two to four years old but hadn't yet addressed the needed dependency updates.

I have been working extensively with gulp in building my own dynamic site generator and build pipeline, as well as using it to power my one-off websites. Gulp is wonderfully powerful and I appreciate all of the hard work that has gone into the library. I also enjoy the fact that plugins can be years old with no modifications to their code. The gulp community really has compartmentalization down to a manageable degree that "one and done" can truly be a reality. I enjoy this, to a reasonable extent, of course.

By March of this year, after emailing and mentioning people on twitter and Instagram, I found myself being challenged to come up with fixes and solutions to the inner workings of code that I had previously used only as replaceable utility functions. I had always wanted to collaborate on open source projects and when my contributions first got published I was ecstatic. First it was gulp-dropbox, then I found myself becoming a maintainer for gulp-include in order to bring that project up to date with a community that had grown to 12,000.

Now, as I continue to evolve as a WordPress developer utilizing version 5 with the gutenberg editor and guten blocks, I'm feeling even more empowered. Any project that I start working with that presents any issue for me I simply fork and fix and create a PR according to the contributing guidelines of the project. If they accept it, great! If they ignore it, that's alright too. The beauty of all this open source code is that I can also use my diverged copy of the code to suit my specific needs and continue on.

In the last month I have been really active in creating forks on github and creating more open source code projects of my own. I discovered the works of Ahmad Awais, a brilliantly talented and incredibly accomplished open source developer and have been very inspired ever since. I created a React component for creating a dropdown to select a post using the wp-api and it's something I feel could really be useful for others as well. So I published that component and hope to have an update in the future with more success on that project!

Yay for Open Source! Yay for free code! Yay for collaboration!

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