Thursday, September 26, 2019


As a class we are preparing for Release 0.2 of the course. After the first year of my CPA program, I was looking forward to this class the most, because we would be working/contributing to open source projects with a professor who is experienced in working with open source.

Now that I'm here trying to find projects to contribute to as part of Hacktoberfest, it is really scary. As a student who is graduating soon, I want to work on projects that I can put on my resume or portfolio to convince employers to hire me. Two big issues exist, most people are thinking the same thing, trying to contribute to a big name project so they can have that under their belt. The other issue is... where the hell do I start? If anyone has taken a look at these code bases, they're huge. Where do I even begin? For example, this project I'm looking at is written in Javascript or Typescript, how come I only recognize a few lines when I've been doing this for 2 years?

As part of Hacktoberfest we are to contribute with 4 fixes or enhancements, an average of about 1.2 weeks per issue. Honestly, I don't even know if I can accomplish this as trying to understand the code or navigating around is difficult. I spent the better half of the day already looking at the repos of the companies I would be interested in working at or the repos of technologies I use a lot (Nodejs, Express), the issues available look like they're way in over my head.

I also think this is why open source is so scary, in class work there's always answers, profs are always there to help you and if you're stuck they'll have the answers ready. This is the total opposite of that, it's daunting yet at the same time exciting.

As part of my Hacktoberfest release I'll try to work on the following projects:

Offline QR Code
Refactoring, kind of easy task, however there's lots of files to navigate through and also a styling guideline by the author.

Google Blockly
Functional issue, I have not taken a look at the code base yet, however... It is Google and I am extremely interested in working on projects introducing coding to others as that's how I started.

Facebook React
I used react a lot and it is the front end framework I'm most comfortable using, I think it is about time to contribute back to the project and find out how it works.

The projects I chose escalate in terms of difficulty and available help although they are all labeled 'beginner issues'. The first project is maintained by the owner and his replies are extremely frequent. With each successive project, the code becomes more complicated and less hand holding is offered. If I can contribute to each issue posted or to issues with code bases of similar scale, I think I'll have reached my goal for Hacktoberfest of dipping my feet into open-source.

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