Looking to Contribute to Open Source? My Top 5 Tips to Get Started

Xavier «X» Santolaria
5 min readAug 3, 2022
Open Source Initiative Official Logo.

Getting started in open source can be done in many different ways, and not everyone will follow the same path.

I’ve recently been asked by one of my mentees, how to get started contributing to open source. As with many things, if it’s new, you usually don’t know how to approach it. Where to start. Who to talk to? Am I too junior to be considered for project X? Would my contribution matter?

All these questions can be hard to tackle, so I will try to help guide you through the process with my top 5 tips to get you started contributing to open source.

1. Identify a Domain / Area you Like, or Want to Learn

Are you a developer? Do you already a preferred programming language? You can’t code, but you’re good at writing documentation, or correcting grammar and spelling issues? You love an open source software you’re using, but you’d like to see some improvements or new features?

The above are questions that can already help you identify the project (see the Links and Resources section below to help you with that), and the tasks you could be contributing to. If you’re a first time contributor to a project, do not fool yourself in thinking that your first Pull Request (PR) has to be a 1000+ lines .diff —…