For new contributors
So, you want to join open source project?
Here's how OpenHatch can help you.
Some things to know first
Open source projects need lots of help: writing code, testing out the latest version, writing documentation, helping other users; the list goes on and on. Think about how you want to help.
In terms of how projects handle volunteers, some projects are looking for people who want to join the project and stick around for a month, a year, or even longer. Some projects are most interested in one-off patch submissions by people who appear, contribute a fix or a new feature, and then vanish. (Some are happy to accept both.)
These different desires represent something about the people who work on the project, in terms of their personality and interpersonal style. Projects aren't always clear about which sort of contributor they want, so to find out, you'll probably have to listen to the conversations the current contributors have. You might have to send an email to the mailing list, asking what the project wants.
Some projects are good at reviewing contributions in a timely fashion, and some aren't. If you find your work isn't being reviewed quickly, you should ask why, and you should say you plan to give up if no one answers in a week. One week later, you should just presume the people in that project are too busy with other things in their lives, and that you should help some other project.
How the OpenHatch website can help
The website has a few features you might want to try. One day, this wiki page will be longer. For now it's kind of short.
- People search, on a map: If you know you want to work on a PHP project with someone in your neighborhood, try searching for that.
- Volunteer opportunity finder: This interface lets you search available entry-points into open source projects (these are typically "bugs", filed in the project's bug tracker; "bitesize" means the project labeled that one as good for newcomers). You can search for a project you know you want to help out, or a skill you want to use.
- The "I want to help!" button. If you click this, it adds you to a list (and a map) of people interested in helping out the project. The project maintainer can check this periodically and let you know if there is an opportunity that would be up your alley.
- Training missions: These are interactive tutorials that teach you skills and that will help you as a contributor to an open source project.
How you can help OpenHatch
There is lots of features to implement, bugs to fix and documentation to be written for OpenHatch project. Visit OpenHatch project page for more details.