Starting an Open Source Project

Anton Biriukov
Nov 12, 2019 · 3 min read
Photo by Stephen H on Unsplash

It has been quite an exiting times ever since I opened the world of Open Source to myself back in September. However, for these entire two months I have been doing everything but starting an Open Source project. With the new tool for tracking blogs in orbit around Seneca’s open source involvement I have had a chance to contribute to the project from the very beginning of its lifetime. Hereafter I will share my experience with this process!

Pitching an idea

During one our Open Source classes at Seneca our professor David Humphrey introduced us a problem. Seneca has it’s own Centre for Development and Open Source (CDOT), and as a compound part of it acts the Planet CDOT — a collection of blog posts prepared by students, professors, and researchers at CDOT. The problem is that the current version of the website was written a really long time go, and has simply been outdated, struggling from the lack of maintenance and development. The goal is to build a new powerful and modern tool that would allow for a more comprehensive and useful usage. Alright, that sounds like a good idea!

Planning

After introducing the problem and the idea, we have had a lot of discussion around what the project should look like, what task it needs to accomplish, what platforms to support, etc. It is essential for everyone interested in the project to be able to share his vision and ideas. Nevertheless, when it comes to a group of 60 little experienced students, it is also vital to have someone to guide the discussion in the right stream.

Visualizing

One of the Rough Drafts of the System by David Humphrey

As a result of discussion we have come to a rough visualization of the system. It was pretty general, yet important to let everyone see the big picture. According to the draft, we were also able to identify some of the possible technical solutions for certain parts of the system. Therefore, we were ready to file them in the issues and start researching. These are some of the issues filed:

Telescope Issues

We can see that there has been a lot of discussion and work done on these things. It is really exciting to see the projects get on the track!

Initial Work

After having the goals set, it is really important to get things going and actually look into those. But even more important it is to constantly review the code made by other contributors and have it landing into the project. A lot of the issues filed above have happily found their PRs, and the code was landed into the main project. To date, there are 38 closed Pull Requests in about two and a half weeks — impressive!

I have also been able to put my little part in with a couple of PRs:

Anton Biriukov

Written by

Enthusiastic Junior Software Developer striving for discoveries & curious about technology

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