Opening Doors to Open Source: Easy Steps for First-Time Contributors

Saurav Jain
Saurav Jain
Jun 21, 2023
Opening Doors to Open Source: Easy Steps for First-Time ContributorsOpening Doors to Open Source: Easy Steps for First-Time Contributors

How Was This Idea Born

"Of the community, By the community, For the community" were my words in the interview when I joined Amplication in November 2021 as a Community Manager. My role's success is directly proportional to the success of the community, and that is, how successfully they can contribute to the open source project of Amplication or how thriving the community together is in terms of welcoming the new community members, helping them, and together as a community to level up skills of other community members by being valuable. The first step in this way was to make our project as inclusive as possible for the new community members who wanted to contribute. That's where the Issues for First Timers campaign was born.

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Blockers for First Timers

When I started thinking about how to make our repository inclusive and welcoming for first-timers, I thought, why not think about my early days as a contributor when I was trying to contribute to many new repositories and had few problems with every second repository:

Overwhelming Code

Whenever I want to contribute to a new project, I go to the GitHub repository of that project. When I see the project's codebase, I find it difficult to understand what is happening there. And this always gives me the sense that I am not good enough to contribute or have to learn more.

And this is what every contributor who tries to contribute to a new project feels. The solution for this problem is to have enough good first issues that are relatively easy for first-timers, giving them a chance to learn more about the packages, technologies, best practices, etc.

Lack of Support

During my initial days contributing to open-source projects, I can't remember how often I've had to stop working on an issue just because I needed more support or a response from the project maintainers/support.

Not Feeling Appreciated

As a first-time contributor, when I spend (a lot of) my time working on an issue and contributing something to the project, and I don't even get any appreciation from the project maintainers, I feel sad that my contributions are seemingly not good enough.

Amplication's Solution (Issues for First Timers)

When we designed our flagship program, "Issues for First Timers," we aimed to solve all three things. The main features of this program are:

Good First Issues

We create a list exclusively of good first issues for this campaign, which gives you an introduction to the Amplication's codebase. These issues include design and other non-code issues as well. Our team created all issues, considering they should be suitable for first-time contributors. So this campaign is your best chance to contribute to open source.

Priority Support

We provide priority support from the talented engineering team of Amplication to all the contributors participating in this campaign so that if there is any problem, you are not alone in it.

Rewards for Your First PR

Our design team always does a beautiful job coming up with cool swag designs for t-shirts, caps, sticker sheets, bags, etc. Your efforts are noticed and will be rewarded with limited edition Amplication swag.

Announcing the Biggest Edition

In the past, we have successfully onboarded 100+ contributors to the world of open source through our campaigns like Ten Issues for First Timers, Dozen Issues for First Timers, and many more.

Sample t-shirt.

However we've never ran a campaign as big as this; this time we have 30 contributors getting ready to make their first contribution to Amplication. Our Engineering team is more than prepared to provide you with all the support you need to make your first PR, and yes, a limited edition Amplication t-shirt is waiting for you to get your PR merged. This time to make things fun, we have made the design a surprise for the community, which will be revealed after the campaign ends 😉.

Wrapping Up

While all of our current issues are currently assigned to new contributors, new issues may come up, or developers may drop. To be eligible in either case you'll have to be a new contributor to Amplication. Essentially you can't have contributed to Amplication before.

You can check more rules and all the issues available in this campaign here: amplication/amplication#6270.

Remember to join our discord for any help. Happy Hacking!