Open-Source Contributions With No Limits

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Photo by Shifaaz shamoon on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how to become a contributor to the project that is highly interesting to you, but is written in a language you have no idea of? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is to study the language first and then come around. However, this two steps can actually be combined into one!

Through working on completing my PRs to Hacktoberfest 2019 I have had a chance to explore a wide range of projects on GitHub. At some point I decided to be ambitious. Soon, I have bumped into the project called EBWiki. It’s main goal is to collect police abuse cases against people of color. I thought it would be great to participate in the project that works on fighting such an important social issue. Moreover, it turned out to be written in Ruby — the language I have heard a lot about, but never actually studied or worked in.

Thus, I went to the Issues page and found a decently simple one to begin with. I have cloned the code base and started looking into the code, looking for the desired component. In a bit, I found the right spot:

As asked in the issue, I have renamed the fing_by_slugmethod to find and removed @this_case.blank? conditional statement. That’s it! Hoping to be welcomed by the project managers, I created the pull request. Oh no! My PR request failed all the tests!

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I got stressed and worried about this. “I should’ve messed something up!” — I thought. Nevertheless, after taking a closer look at the test failure, as well as at the list of other PRs, I realized that it is most likely not me, who have messed something up, but those writing the tests. Time to wait, I decided…

In a couple of days, I have received some great news. My PR was approved and accepted, even though the tests did not pass.

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PR Appoval

Wow! I have just become a Ruby developer contributor! And so can you — just dive into the ocean of Open Source to hit the wave in the whirlpool of infinite commits!

Enthusiastic Junior Software Developer striving for discoveries & curious about technology

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