Learn how to contribute to open source projects in 7 easy steps (video)
Last Updated on Nov 27, 2022
This is amir
Today we are going to talk about how to contribute to open source projects
We will go through it together step by step and in the end I have a gift for you
So let’s get started
Step One (Fork)
After you’ve found the project you like the very first step is to fork the project
On github page there is a button on top and you can also see the number of times this project has been forked
When you fork a project, it will create a full copy of the project on your account
So now if I go to my repositories
I can see the forked project in my account as well
So now whatever you change will be completely on your account and the main project won’t be affected
Step Two (Clone)
The next step is to clone the project on your local computer
Now that we cloned the project we run the command
to go to the master branch
If you run
You can see that the remote address is the address to your repository not the original one.
Step Three (Keep Updated)
Open source projects are like live creatures and they are constantly growing and getting lots of updates.
It’s important that your forked project stays updated with the original project.
And to do that a lot of developers add a new remote named upstream and the url for this remote would be the original project
And every once in a while they would pull the updates from upstream
Then push the updates to their forked repo
You can do that as well if you want
But I personally prefer to do it from my github account
And This is how:
I would go to the project on github
You see there is a fetch button here
If there is a new update you can click on this and it will update your github repository
And then on my local machine I run
That’s it. There is no need to add a new remote and pull and push
Github is amazing and has made our lives much easier
Ok let’s continue with our contribution
Step Four (Branch)
Create a new branch by running
Step Five(Code & Commit)
And then inside this branch you will add your code
Here I only want to change the typo in the file
Then we commit our changes
Here since it’s been only seconds there are no changes. But sometimes you might get a lot of updates.
In that case make sure to go to your github and fetch the updates and pull them on your local computer and your branch
and make sure there are no conflicts between the code you’ve written and the new changes.
Now that you’ve committed all the changes in your new branch you are ready to push it by running
Step Seven(Pull Request)
Now if you go to your github account
you will see a compare and pull request button
Here you can see that pull request is for which repository
You could write the description of your pull request
Before you send the pull request make sure to read the contribution guides.
Some projects ask you very specific things for their pull request description
That’s it after you send the pull request the owner will decide if they want to accept it or not.
Sometimes they might send you some comments on editing your code and after that, if they accept it they can merge your code to the main code.
My Gift to You
Now it’s time for my gift to you
When I was starting to contribute to the open source projects I was so scared that I would mess something up and no one would ever let me work with them
and because of this fear I didn’t start contributing to open source for a couple of years.
Now in order to make sure you won’t have the same fear, I have created a repository for you to practice.
Here you can see the guidelines.
All you have to do is to add your name to this file plus a note.
After you send a pull request I will review it and accept it or not.
Just a quick recap:
- We talked about contributing to an open source project on github
- We forked the project
- Then we cloned it on our local machine
- Then we added a new branch and added our codes
- Then we made sure our code was updated with the original repository
- Then we committed our changes
- And pushed the files to our online repo
- Then we sent a pull request
- There is also a project for you on github to practice contribution
if you liked what you learned please like and subscribe
That would be a great motivation to do more videos
If you have any suggestions or questions please leave a comment below and I try to answer them as soon as possible
Have a wonderful day.
Link to Video:
You can watch the original video on youtube.