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Nikita Koselev
Nikita Koselev

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OpenSource community: the art of asking for help

The Open Source community is extremely helpful and willing to answer your questions. However, you need to understand that your questions shall be of a high quality and asked to the right person.

What is a high quality question? Well, let’s start with the low quality question. My number 1 is “Hi”. When somebody sends me “Hi” in the work chat or on LinkedIn, I get distracted from the flow. I also know that I cannot really continue working as in 1-2 minutes I will get another text with more details. So, what is my ideal question? Well, something like “Hi. I hope you are well and safe. I am a bit stuck with A and I know you are an expert in A-related stuff. I have tried B, C, D approaches and I have talked to E and F colleagues.

Why do I prefer this way? Well, it minimises the “defragmentation” of my brain. This text is a way more useful than “hi”.

Now, to the “who we are asking” question. Yes, I know I can speak some English.I could probably help you to start learning it, but I will not answer questions like “how many letters are there in the English alphabet?”. Why? Because it is easy to find that answer online, by googling. Also, I have a 200+ people meetup to run, where I am helping people to start contributing #OpenSource. If I answer 200 of the “silly” questions, I will run out of quality time to help people with #OpenSource.

The whole article has been inspired by Kunal Kushwaha’s post.

Image description

Kunal is helping the community a lot and he is a nice person. But he cannot realistically answer questions of the “how to get into OpenSource” kind as he specialises in more complicated things and he has to support a 216k strong YouTube channel.

What is the end line of the article?

To be honest, I do not know.
Probably something like this.

If you have questions regarding something very specific - try to find that specific community and not ask for a call with somebody with 216k of subscribers. Even if you get the call, it will come at the expense of creating quality content.

So, if you want to get into Open Source basics and get your first "howto" questions answered - come to my meetup, https://www.meetup.com/togetherweopensource/

When you are ready to continue, you will start benefiting more from more advanced topics, like Kunal’s content. You will learn to ask higher quality questions, to help content creators to produce even better quality videos and articles.

Some links.
My meetup, which helps people to get into OpenSource.
My YouTube channel, which helps people to get into OpenSource:
The Open Source community is extremely helpful and willing to answer your questions. However, you need to understand that your questions shall be of a high quality and asked to the right person.

Kunal’s twitter

Kunal’s youtube

I hope that helps.

Live long and prosper,
Peace.

opensource #community #howtostart #howtocontribute

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