Contributing to open source can be frightening and perplexing, depending on the project you are working on. It is worth noting that many large open source projects have a steep learning curve. However, given the popularity of open source, there are numerous ways to get started and succeed even if you’re a beginner.
Open source is a term used to describe source code that is made publicly accessible for use, viewing, modification, and distribution under a license. Usually, a group of its users work together to develop and maintain it. Django, Postgres, MongoDB, Vue, Go, Ruby, TypeScript, Git, and many others are examples of well-known open source projects.
Even though the main goal of open source projects is to make useful and accessible open source software, individual contributors can get a lot of personal benefit from working on them. You develop your technical abilities while assisting with software maintenance. Your work on open source software can serve as evidence of your abilities when you apply for jobs.
You can hone your “soft skills” (communication, giving and accepting feedback, emotional intelligence, etc.) by becoming an active member of a community dedicated to improving the open source software you use. You can network with a ton of individuals in these communities, and they’ll expose you to plenty of great chances.
Open Source Initiatives in the Caribbean
Google Summer of Code
Google Summer of Code is a global, online program focused on bringing new contributors into open-source software development. GSoC Contributors work with an open-source organization on a 12+ week programming project under the guidance of mentors.
The Caribbean Tech Connect, formerly known as Jamaica Developers Community has been spearheading the introduction of GSoC to students in the Caribbean since 2019. You can find a series of videos on Google Summer of Code on the Community YouTube page
The Calico Challenge
The Calico Challenge is a Palisadoes program that offers stipends to student developers to write software code for various open source software projects. It allows students to publicly show the quality of their work.