Beginning with Open Source

Hello, Everyone!!!!!

I am Arushi Singhal. BTech Undergraduate student at International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad.

I was introduced to the Open Source world almost 2 years back through open source development group of my college. The idea behind open source projects and software excites me and I started using open source software as they have fewer bugs as a large number Society is contributing and is trying in finding and fixing bugs. I have used various Linux distros and presently using Ubuntu 16.04 in my system, Sublime as Text Editor and more or less all the software which I use are open Source.

After using open source software for almost 1 and the half year, I decided to contribute in OpenSource Projects. After shortlisting many projects and reading their documentation, I decided to contribute to LINUX KERNEL. The reason I chose to do contributions in it is, it's newbie friendly, well documented, great support from the Linux community and most important I liked the project. While contributing to Kernel I learnt a lot like how to work with large code-base projects, and the most important power of "GIT".

As I am the OpenSource enthusiast, I use to read about OpenSource community, projects etc. And from one the post on Quora, I come to know about BOSS and I read about it to find out what it is and how it is designed.

So BOSS is a Bountiful Open Source Project, As the name suggests we can participate in this programme during summers and it's a 3 months programme. After reading about BOSS, the reasons which attracted me towards it is:-

  1. It's a newbie friendly. So any fresher who is new to the OpenSource world can start and explore it.
  2. Most important there is no time constraints that you have to give "some amount" of hours per week, so it's totally up to contributor how they want to work. So you can work on the projects while doing full-time internships.
  3. The idea is all the way new and interesting. I have not heard about the ranking(bounty) system designed for the programme.
  4. You can enrol anytime and there is no selection process for you to participate in the programme.
  5. One Can contribute in any number of projects as part of the programme, which is unique to me as in GSOC, Outreachy(OPW) you can work on only one project.
  6. More you work, more you get.
  7. At a time you can work on multiple features of development like documentation, backend, frontend, design etc. This will help us to understand each phase of Development and can also help us in deciding our interest.
  8. Exciting Prizes :P

My Journey So Far

I came to know about BOSS in the month of June and by that time, I was already one month late, as programme get started in the month of May. At first, I thought I cannot participate now, just to know more about the programme, I started reading its Rules and workflow and found that we can start at any point of time and no application is required just the condition is you should be enrolled in some
school/college and should be an Indian Student.
So first I read all the details available about BOSS, then I joined their open discussion channel Gitter and read previous discussions to understand how things work.

Then I study all the Open Issues and found the one which is easy for me to solve and understand. Believe me, the best thing about BOSS is that there is a wide range of issues from easy to difficult, and you can learn while doing. The Readme of the projects are well documented and is enough for understanding the Projects.

So after that, I chose my First Issue on which I wanted to work. I tried to solve the issue and was successful. After resolving the issue, I made my First Pull Request on 20 June 2017. And after two days it was successfully merged by the mentors of BOSS programme. After that, I Claim for Bounty and started waiting for it to be accepted. Within a day it was accepted and my score and result are visible on the LeaderBoard. We can also see the status of our Claims here.

Till now I have my 6PRs submitted and looking forward to submitting more.

My start at BOSS was incredible since I felt a lot the ownership for my work. Facing challenges such as learning new frameworks or understanding the documentation have ultimately been positive experiences -- this makes me feel more and more like a developer. Though the world of open source is intimidating at first, but it is quite exciting and opens up a number of possibilities. And one should not get scared but learn as many things by contributing and interacting with the community.
The key rule for contribution in OpenSource is: Don’t get disappointed or feel dejected if your pull request is not merged at once, it opens up the gate to learning when you work through the suggestions provided by the mentors as they know how the pull request can be improved.

So, best of luck.

Have A Great and Productive summer.

See you soon with my next blog.