Tips to successfully build your open-source projects

I don’t like open-source: I love it!

I first started to contribute to the open-source community in 2013 during my very first software engineering internship. I was really anxious and excited at the same time when I opened my very first pull request! Since then, I couldn’t stop contributing and I now dedicate an important part of my free time to open-source.

Like many people, I first started to contribute to small libraries, then bigger ones once I got more confident, and ended up bringing some new projects I needed and was willing to share with others (if you are interested, you can check my Github and leave me some feedback on projects that caught your attention!).

Hard to find the time to contribute every day, but doing my best!

Open-source brought me a lot: not only it helped me to find the tools I needed for the projects I was working on, but I also learned a lot from it on both technical and soft skills. It also opened me to new professional opportunities by catching the attention of some recruiters.

I spent a lot of time on projects of my own, I learned a lot from them and I think it could be interesting to share part of my experience to help some other folks to successfully build their own projects!

Please note that this write-up is based on my own experience, my observations, and of course some of my failures.

It does not aim to stand as a reference, but instead to provide some tips or observations I wanted to share with others. Maybe some tips are missing or some people will not agree with the hints listed here: feel free to start a discussion in the comments!

This article is not about how to contribute to existing projects. Lots of other blog posts already treat that subject very well. This post is focusing on projects of your own. I’ve never really found articles to help me make the appropriate decisions and had no other choice than learning by myself.

Originally published at https://cylix.github.io on September 9th, 2017.

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Simon Ninon

Passionate about programming since middle school. French living in San Diego, California. Senior SRE at PagerDuty.