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A Beginner’s Guide To Contributing To Open Source


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Natasha is a iOS Engineer at Capital One Labs and instructor at GA in San Francisco. This post originally appeared on her blog, Natasha The Robot.

When I first started as a Rails developer, I thought of all the Rails gems as magic. Some smart people were making all these cool libraries for me to use! I had no idea how any of these libraries worked, and I was ok with that. They worked and did what I needed them to do. They seemed so comprehensive and thought out, that I didn’t even know what I would contribute to them even if I wanted to!

To this day, I haven’t contributed any open source code to the Rails community. And that’s because the Rails community is extremely active on open source, so it’s actually hard to find things to contribute to! Of course you can go through issues and try to solve them, but they are usually pretty complex and intimidating, to be honest. With all these smart people commenting on the issues, it’s hard to feel like you’re good enough to solve it!

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