The 7 Days Open Source Challenge

Last Wednesday I gave a lightning talk about open source at the Buenos Aires Ruby Meetup. I proposed a challenge to all attendees: Contribute to one (or many) open source projects for 7 days straight.

The rules are simple:

  • You have to do it for 7 days straight
  • If you can't do it one day, that breaks your streak
  • When you break your streak, you have to start over from day 1

The goal of this challenge is to make contributing to open source projects a habit.

You can see the slides over here:

The 7 Days Open Source Challenge from Ombu Labs, The Lean Software Boutique

I did this challenge because I wanted to get back to contributing to a couple of projects that I currently maintain. It was great and I finally made some progress in DatabaseCleaner

I hope that this challenge will encourage other developers to start contributing to their favorite projects.

Here are a couple of ways that you can contribute to open source:

  • Submit a new issue to a library. Make sure that it hasn't been reported yet. If it has, add meaningful information to the issue to make it easier to solve it
  • Try to solve an existing issue. Find the lines of code that are causing the problem and submit a pull request
  • If you can't solve it, write a failing scenario in the library's test suite
  • Improve documentation where it's unclear or non-existent

If you don't know where to begin, check out http://www.codetriage.com or ping me (I'm one of the maintainers of DatabaseCleaner and EmailSpec and I'd appreciate your help)