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Discussion on: ELI5: how to contribute to a project?

mortoray profile image
edA‑qa mort‑ora‑y

You see that grop of kids doing something interesting in the park? Look closer and see what it is. Are they piling rocks, building a sand castle, or playing some silly game.

Does it seem like fun and you want to join? Then ask them if you can. If they say yes, then great. Ask the rules and see what you can do. If they say no, oh well, move on to the next interesting group. Every group is different: some will be welcoming and accomodating, others will be xenophobic and intolerant.

But what if you really want to join the group that doesn't really want you? Then you'll have to learn their game on your own, and somehow shoe them how awesome you are. Build a sand castle on your own, play their game uninvited, bring somebody cool along. Chasing unicorns won't be easy.

That's about all I can say as an ELI5 answer. There's no easy answer here other than just taking the time to figure out how to participate. If you can't understand their docs and code you likely aren't at a sufficient level. But be aware, it can be hard to understand other people's code.

If you're uncertain of your coding then play at the various online coding challenge website. Do them until you're convinced you can do them all, given enough time.

phillie profile image

Wow! Couldn't think of a better "explainlikeimfive"-answer. 👏 Looove your allegory of a kids playground. Gotta keep that one in mind when explaining open source contribution to newbies - if you don't mind?! 😊

tyzia profile image
Andrei Navumau Author

Thank you.
I'll follow your advise. I enjoyed reading a nice allegory of kids playground you come up with. Sure, I'll take a closer look at other projects and, if not accepted, I'll try to grow to their level. I completely forgot about the opportunities of coding challenges. Thanks for reminder.

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