My contributions graph

50 Open Source Contributions in 2020!

Working on an Open Source project was a personal goal of mine. My motivations were to explore a different style of learning that allows me to apply new technologies to real projects and pursue a hobby that is both fun and challenging. If you are someone who, like me, aspires to contribute to Open Source projects, I have highlighted some of my personal experiences below. Hopefully, these will help you understand how some of my initial inhibitions became positive experiences.


Another early realization was that every contribution counts. Every contribution is valued to the project and is a learning opportunity for you. It is easily the best win-win scenario you could ask for! I started with a few small steps to get involved in the project. Now, my contributions are a mixed bag of code commits, code reviews, creating issues, adding GitHub actions, and commenting on pull requests. With each of them, I got more comfortable with the Open Source contribution mechanism.

Paying it forward — I benefitted from the mentoring and training I received to start my Open Source journey. I am grateful that I can share these experiences with others and lower the barriers to entry so they too can embark on their Open Source journey.

You “Git” game

Learning to use different aspects of Git (log, squash, insights, branch repository management, etc.) will reduce the turnaround time to create your pull request. It takes practice and frequent usage of Git so you spend less time worrying and more time programming.

Why contribute to Open Source?

  • Being part of a technology community through OSS and learning from others through their contributions. It is admirable to see developers from different parts of the world communicate and collaborate efficiently on an Open Source project!
  • Learning and applying new technologies or features. To name a few, I learned about Mutation testing, GitHub actions workflow, Records (preview) feature in JDK 14, and was able to use them in Open Source projects. It proved to be a more effective form of learning!
  • Overcoming my inhibition to contribute to OSS.
  • The satisfaction of being able to work on your personal goals. That combined with your community cheering you on is a great motivator!

If any of these appeal to you and are are looking for ways to get started, check out this article by Donald Raab.

Or check out frameworks that you work with frequently and contribute to those to gain a deeper understanding of those frameworks.

“It is never too late to start something new” — many wise folks.

Next up, 100 contributions! Here’s hoping that I have persuaded some of you to begin your OSS journey.

Java Developer, Open Source contributor, Committer for the Eclipse Collections OSS project( Opinions are my own.

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