Open source contribution for Experience and Confidence

How open source contribution can increase your experience and improve your confidence

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During my escapades in open source contribution, I happened to come across a unique situation which required me to learn something new in order to make my open source contribution a success. For a long time, I used to think that some git commands were reserved for a certain seniority or experience level, but this situation changed my perspective on how I approached it.

Contributing to open source has a lot of advantages among them being that it helps in sharpening tech skills, both reading code and writing code. There are a lot more advantages to go through but today I wanted to present to you two ways in which open source contribution can help you out in your software development career.

Experience

Contributing to open source can increase your experience. There is a lot that you can work on in open source projects that will help you out in your software engineering career.

One such experience moment happened to me during my open source escapades as described earlier. I had made a pull request that was not passing the markdown linting tests that were setup by the project. After reading through my code I realized that some changes were being made by local markdown linter that were not in line with the guidelines set by the project I was contributing to. Since I knew that this would be resolved by a git command, I started doing my research and found out that this could indeed be resolved by git. The command that I found was git rebase.

Had I never stumbled upon this unique obstacle, I would have probably never learnt about git rebase. There is so much a tutorial can teach you, but if you want to go an extra mile in your career, I would suggest you take up open source contribution. By taking up open source contribution you also get to solve the famous paradox that you need a job to get experience but you need experience to get a job…

Confidence

Confidence is a huge necessity especially if you are starting out as a developer. With confidence on your side you get to navigate the dreaded imposter syndrome that is prevalent among us developers, a feeling that does not discriminate on experience level, whether junior or senior.

You get a taste of confidence when you get some insightful feedback on your code contribution during a code review session. You get a taste of confidence when the project maintainer leaves a LGTM(Looks Good to Me) comment on your code before merging it to the code base. This build up of confidence will ultimately motivate you to even start your own open source projects which will also pass on these two advantages to other developers starting out in open source contribution.

With experience and confidence you can achieve a lot in the software engineering field. I wrote this article to highlight these two advantages among many that you can find when you actively contribute to open source. If you need some help getting started or navigating the open source field, I have a list of recommendations at the end of this article that will surely get you started. If you have additional individuals or places that can be of help please feel free to comment down below and I will surely add them to this list. Until next time folks, happy coding!!!

— — My Recommended list (still being added):

I am a software developer creating beautiful experiences on the web. Co-organizer: Reactjs Developer Community Kenya ||