My Journey through Open Source

My experience with open source has been a roller coaster ride since last semester. It has been such a wonderful and learning experience by connecting with people from all around the globe on this platform.

The Beginning:

I am grateful for taking this course last semester. Before this I was on the side of seeking help from open source, but now I have the opportunity to actually contribute and give back to this community. The highlight of OSD600 was the Hactoberfest, which was making 5 pull requests for a T-shirt. For OSD600, I tried different aspects of programming like  javascript, testing, localisation and making small fixes in different projects. I chose to take OSD700 since I wanted to learn more about open source and contributing to different projects.


The Journey:

This semester, I started of by contributing towards react documentation. The issue I worked on was researching and adding more details about Shallow Renderer. It was fun since I got to refresh my memory on React and I learnt a little bit of Enzyme. The pull request was not merged since it was not what they needed but I was a good learning experience.



For my second release, I switched to Android development since I had just started learning about it. It was really interesting and I wanted to explore more about it. I worked on a simple issue in the Project called Simple Calendar in the XML file, and instead of getting feedback from the maintainer, I was just closed off. Release 0.2 was a bad experience with maintainers but a good learning experience with Android. Simple Calendar is an awesome android project in Kotlin that can be played around to explore more about android, but sadly the maintainer is not open to suggestions.


For my third release, I moved on to a different android project called Minimal-To-Do. In this project I fixed two issues. Since it is a simple project there are a lot of errors and it was interesting to find out these errors and work on them. I fixed errors in the layout of the application with the android keyboard. It is a good project to work on but there has been no activity by the maintainer since February.


For my fourth release, I was back with react, but this time it was localisation of React. My decision to translate the page into Hindi has been the best decision so far I have made in this course. This repo is slow but the maintainers are very interactive and very supportive. In the first release itself, I translated an entire page. From this experience I learnt that localisation is not as easy as I thought it was. It needs alot of patience and time specially when some one else reviews the translations I have made.


For my fifth and sixth releases, I have been contributing to the same project and enjoy the experience. There is so much to learn with react since it is something that is so important with web development, and translating the documentation line by line helps you learn about react and build you skills in programming in that language.


I had planned to contribute to Angular, vscode and React in the very beginning but things did not go according to plan. I started with React, drifted off to Android development and then back with react again. It was a really good learning experience. My classmates and professor played an important role in this class, as with the help of their feedback and suggestions, I was able to better my skills in programming and presenting step by step throughout this semester.



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