Falling in love with Open Source

Rohan Sharma
Oct 30, 2018 · 3 min read

(my experience contributing to Fossasia)

git push, git pull, issues, pull requests, null pointer exceptions, merge conflicts, gitter, slack, mailing lists, scrums, commits……….and the list never ends. When u dive into the world of Open Source these things become a part of your daily life and you might find some of them intimidating at first, but dear reader as time passes by, you and these difficulties part their ways and you start walking on the path of falling in love with the Open Source world.

Talking about myself I am an android developer who recently fell in love with Open Source and was dying to share his love story. So it all started in summer of 2018. It was the last week of July and summer vacations were on. I was learning android then when I got to know about Fossasia through one of my friends who contributed to the organization. So I grabbed my laptop and started my research which went on from one link to the other, diving through every possible piece of information I could gather. I was really fascinated to see the way the organization promoted and facilitated college students to innovate and build something and how the community didn't work as a community but like a family. So without second thoughts, I decided to become a part of the community. I started exploring GitHub repositories of the organization and found really interesting projects and the first project i chose to work upon was Phimpme-android. So Phimpme is an android based image editing app that provides numerous amazing options to edit images. So I forked the repository, read a bit about git and tried to set up the project on my local machine. You won't believe it, but it took me 2 weeks to remove all errors and successfully get a Gradle build. It won't have taken more than a day hadn’t I been shy and hesitant in asking the mentors about it. This was the mistake I committed and wasted 2 weeks. So dear readers if you are new to open source and reading this please never hesitate in asking questions, we are here to learn and you cannot learn if you don’t ask questions. Now this was my first step and it was bound to be hard and this is the place where maximum people give up. I didn’t, and finally asked the mentors about it, they fixed my issue within an hour. So with all my enthusiasm I started testing the app and found issues and started working on them. Though I initially had problems with git and hated it but with time as you start diving deeper into its functionalities, you will realize that git is the best thing that could happen to mankind (developers :p). Learning from the mistake I committed earlier, I asked the mentors about any problem I was facing, and I was really fascinated to see how willingly they helped a newcomer like me in every way they could. I developed really good relations with the mentors and learned a lot from them, rather I’m still learning. Day by day I started falling in love with the whole process and this journey, though started on a low note has turned out to be a wonderful learning process. It has now been almost 2 months, of me contributing to this organization and I have grown from 1 contribution to 55 and the number is still increasing daily. Believe me, its so good to see yourself among other community members in the project contributors list.

So if you are a student developer or would like to be one, dive into this Open Source world. It has nothing to take from you but a ton to give back to you.

Rohan Sharma

Written by

Developer | OpenSource enthusiast | droidhead | poet | normally seen after 12 noon :p