Ways of Making a Contribution to Project Development
Most software engineers who consider themselves to possess unfathomable ability and knowledge about coding and developing software usually join open source groups and communities where they can extend their abilities and eventually benefit from the glory which comes by doing so. It’s not about money but it’s kind of a culture which attracts motivated developers to help users by enhancing and improving the efficiency of open source project.
Of course there’s little or no monetary gain in so doing but the rewards from their actions keeps them going and motivates them to continue enhancing this software.
What I’m I saying here? What I mean is that human being in nature feel more rewarded when they do something good. By lending a helping hand, there is the feeling of satisfaction and wholeness which can be quantified through recognition and pride which follows thereafter.
When a developer detects a bug and fixes it or when one comes with a solution which will enable a software to be less complex, or when a new feature which is introduced, there’s a feeling of accomplishment. It’s kind of self actualization which is very motivating.
Moreover, most of these bright developers enhance open source projects because of the own solutions which they want the projects to realize which in turn benefits other people. It’s just like what scientists or researchers do. They sacrifice themselves to come up with solutions which entirely benefits every person.
Therefore, you will realize that many developers would love to be incorporated in the open source community because they want to be part of the technological improvements and contribution to enhance an open source project.
But what are the ways that a developer can get involved in enhancing open source software?
Detecting and reporting bugs.
In case you detect a bug in an open source project, you have a duty to make a contribution to the project by reporting the bug. When you detect an anomaly, not only will you be doing yourself a favor when it’s fixed but benefiting others. Its’ your obligation to report the bug and make some recommendations about fixing it. This means that you will also be involved in the enhancement of the project by providing a workable solution to fix the anomaly.
This should not end there. You are also obligated at tracking down and ensure that the anomaly is corrected. This means that any documentation about the project will also require amendments such as the wiki entry about the project. Amendments would be required after the anomaly has been corrected. You could do this yourself or suggest having it done.
This shows your commitment to improving the projects work ability and everyone in the project’s community will surely accept and credit you for that.
Test a beta project.
A beta project is one which is still under development but due to be released. Before being released for users to use a beta version is first released so that several users who can test it and report any anomalies or bugs detected or additional features which would make the project’s functionality improve at the end.
This is a great opportunity to work with project’s community by testing the functioning of the software and making recommendations where necessary or reporting any portability issues.
Write a test.
Writing a test to test the code of the project is another great way in which you can get involved in the development of an open source project. Ideally, you want to ensure that the code is good and working. You don’t have to write a test for the entire code which can be overwhelming but you can write a test for a given part of feature.
Other ways of making contributions to open source project would be through joining developers’ forums such as Stack exchange and answer question or be involved in their discussions. You could also journal the entire project through a blog.