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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

A Brief Guide on Open-Source Contribution

A Brief Guide on Open-Source Contribution

“The power of Open-source is the power of the people. The people rule.”- Philippe Kahn

Philippe Kahn, who is a technology innovator and mathematician said rightly about open source. It empowers the people with access to the source code,which promotes self-sufficiency. It’s easy to understand if we replace the word ‘democracy’ in the famous quote by the greatest US President Abraham Lincoln. Open-source is code by and for the people.

What is Open Source?

When you ask what open-source is; the answer in layman terms is giving the source code’s ownership to the common people.

Open-Source Software (OSS) is an application platform where the source code is readily available in the public domain. OSI (Open-source Initiative) group has been playing an instrumental role in promoting, managing, and protecting Open-source Software & Communities. OSS is released under a license in which individual grants to a user the right to study, update or distribute the software to anyone.

In addition,OSS Applications are available at no cost (free) for development.

Why Contribute to Open Source?

The more information you share, the more information you get, and the process goes on hand-in-hand.

Thus, contributing to the open-source communities can be a simplified path towards gaining / learning, teaching, developing, and building certain nitty-gritty of any technology & applications.

Following are some of the reasons, which describe the essentials for open-source contribution:

  • Improve skill-sets & expertise in certain technology / application, eventually boost your career
  • Learn from experts in the industry from all across the globe
  • Get recognition & accolades from the entire community all over the world
  • The great medium of networking within the individuals sharing the same technical interests

Who can contribute to open source?

Often, there is a misconception amongst individuals that only the programmers can contribute to communities. However, this statement is not completely true.

Altogether, there are many areas where an individual can contribute to open-source community. It is not just restricted to contribution through the code/programming arena. In fact, the spectrum of community ranges from managing, organizing, coding, testing, documenting, designing, etc.

Contribution Application Areas

Following is the list of application areas with excerpts where an individual can contribute to the open-source projects:

Organizing:

  • Conduct workshops & meetings to invite all the community contributors for collaboration.
  • These activities can either be online or meetings across various regions globally.
  • Recognize experts within the community and organize workshops, webinars & sessions to provide a platform to share their knowledge with respective fellow contributors.

Who can mentor/speak?

  • An individual with considerable experience & expertise in certain technology & working as a contributor to the community group.

Coding:

  • Programmers or software developing enthusiasts can consider coding to amplify their strengths in certain programming languages & constraints, they are already working or willing to learn.
  • Improve/enhance the existing architecture of the application developed.
  • Remove redundant and unused code methods wherever applicable.
  • Implement the latest technology trends in the application.
  • Review code developed by other co-developers.

Designing:

  • Redesign or re-structure the existing layouts to improve visual interface & optimize the application on the design front.
  • Optimize the style guide & CSS styles and remove duplicates as well as redundancy in styles if required.

Tester:

  • Write test cases for processing unit tests.

Test the patches of code or functionality submitted by other developers which will ensure the high quality of the application.

Documentation:

  • Every application requires guides or manuals to make other developers/usersto understand the essence of the software.
  • An individual can contribute to an application by writing documents & user guides.

How to contribute to open source?

Following are some of the user stories you can look intobefore started contributing to open-source:

Write Instructions:

  • As a documentation expert, you can write an instruction set or description for describing certain sections of the application.

Write a Code Patch:

  • As a programmer, you can write a code to improve/enhance the functional behavior of an application.

Review:

  • As a reviewer, you can review the code structure and validate it against essentials coding standards of the technology, security measures & framework of the application.

Open an Issue:

  • As a QA engineer, you can test the newly added code patch to eliminate issues/bugs within the code and process it for further steps of integration.

Popular Open-Source Applications

The following table represents some commonly used OSS applications:

 

Application Name

Application Type

Examples

Linux

Operating System

Ubuntu, Redhat, Mint etc.

GIT

Version Controlling System (VCS)

Github, Gitlab, Mercurial etc.

Frontend / Backend Programming Languages

Programming Languages

AngularJS, ReactJS, NodeJS etc.

Web Servers

Web Servers

NGinx, Apache2

Caching Applications

Cache Layer

Redis

Content Management Systems

Content Management & Collaboration Platform

Drupal, WordPress, Umbraco, Magento, Moodle, Joomla

Application Frameworks

Application Frameworks

Apache Attic

Blockchain

Blockchain Technology

Hyperledger

 

Clarion’s contribution towards open-source

Clarion, being one of the top software development companies contributes to the open-source community in a strategic manner. The developers at Clarion dedicate their precious time to provide technical support to improve the community.

Clarion’s Contribution to the WordPress Community

You can hire WordPress developers from Clarion who provide impeccable support for the following WordPress categories:

  • Core Contributor
  • Plugin Developer
  • Documentation Contributor
  • Translation Contributor

Clarion’s contribution towards WordPress plugin development:

Clarion’s contribution towards WordPress plugin development

Clarion’s Contribution to the Drupal Community

Our Drupal developers are quite interested in contributing to the Drupal community with a plethora of support services:

Clarion’s Contribution to the Drupal Community

Some of the recent issues where Clarion’s Drupal developers have worked on are:

issues where Clarion’s Drupal developers have worked

For our significant contribution we are listed as a reputed Drupal Service Provide by the Drupal community:

reputed Drupal Service Provide by the Drupal communityOur contribution to the Drupal Community:

contribution to the Drupal Community

Clarion’s Contribution to the Magento Community

Our Magento developers provide admirable support towards the open-source community. 

Clarion’s Contribution to the Magento Community

Stepping stone towards your first open-source contribution

Since we have discussed in details about various aspects of community contribution, you can take an initial step towards the first community contribution via the following links:

Conclusion

To sum up we can say that contributing to the open-source community is an imperial part of your growth. A significant contribution can help you to create a niche in the domain and help to win the loyalty of your customers. It also strengthens your presence in the open-source communities. And a strong open-source community presence is the smart way to get more leads and earn customer’s trust. Above all, it gives you a competitive edge to do better and uplift your market position.

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