Getting the most out of Open Source

Getting the most out of Open Source

Open-source is a term used to describe software projects with the source code available to use, view, modify and redistribute.

Open-source software is free to use by anyone while also having the source code publicly accessible. While the licensing of each software can vary, the common factor is the freedom for the software to be used and modified freely.

Many open-source projects exist due to the contributions of many developers who give their time to develop, enhance and support various projects.

Contributing to open source should be fun and rewarding! Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned open-source enthusiast, you’ll always feel excited and ready to contribute to or maintain an open-source project.

What We're going to Cover?

  • Why you should contribute to open-source?

  • Leveraging open source programs for success.

Let's Start

Why you should contribute to open source?

So before moving further, first let's take a look at what numbers say:

  • 80% of maintainers have trouble finding new contributors

  • 52% of developers want to contribute but...

  • 33% don't know where to start

  • 31% are just not skilled enough!

  • 92% of employers find it difficult to hire open-source talent

While contributing to open source you get to:

  • Code more and learn more - The best way to learn programming is to do more programming! The second best way is to watch how others do it. GitHub and OSS is a great place to combine both. All code is available publicly, so everybody can fetch it, read it, change it and learn from each other.

  • Payback to the community - You can give back your experience and learning to the communities from where you got to learn, and add more value to those communities.

  • Build an outstanding portfolio - It doesn’t matter if you have commercial experience or not, your GitHub is your business card and the most important highlight in your resume. It shows your interests, skills, and motivation. Your contributions don’t have to be tip-top perfect, the sole fact that you’re actively involved is great.

  • Meet great people - Meet the community, exchange ideas, and grow as a developer. Setting aside free time to work on OSS can spark plenty of quality discussions, and even end up in starting friendships, or finding a mentor.

As an individual, open source contribution provides people with a platform to turn their ideas into a reality. It’s too often that great ideas are pushed to the back burner and never see the light of day. But open source gives individuals an opportunity to share their ideas with like-minded people who can help bring the project to fruition.

Contribution can also help individuals hone in on desirable soft skills, like learning how to work in a collaborative, sometimes ambiguous, and unstructured environment. There are many moving pieces when it comes to open source, including working with people of varying skill sets and in different time zones.

Leveraging Open Source Programs for Success

Is open source just about participating in programs NO - You can build a career in it!

Let's look at some avenues

  • Build, scale, and monetize your own open-source projects.

  • Collaborate with a company with an open-source product.

  • Get sponsored to contribute to open-source sustainability.

There are a few open-source programs that can help you to stand out:

Why Participate in Programs?

  • Exposure to open-source development lifecycle.

  • Improved problem-solving & development skills.

  • Fosters domain-specific knowledge & experience.

  • Develop new tech skills & soft skills to succeed.

Acing Programs

  • Find good projects: don't just pick them because of the competition.

  • Introduce yourself early to the community & mentors.

  • Brainstorm & share feedback while asking hard questions.

  • Start working on your proposal while making good first contributions.

Navigating through Open Source Programs

  • Write meaningful code & docs that can be integrated at the end.

  • Ensure that you know your work and the progress you are making.

  • Engage with the community and let the benefits of your work be known.

  • Mentor and guide others while helping them make their first contribution.


In this article, we learned about why we should do open-source contributions & their importance, how one can make their career through open-source contributions and how the open-source programs are helping in this, and some ways to stand out in these programs. So, we are at the end of this blog and I hope that I'm able to deliver the content clearly.✍️🧑‍💻

I would like to thank SheBuilds Hacks and Harsh Mishra for conducting the session on this topic.✨