A Short Story
I first learnt about open source sometimes around February 2020 at the OSCA(Open Source Community Africa) festival which held in Lagos, Nigeria. During that period, I just kickstarted my tech career fully and I was quite eager to learn about anything and everything that would help me in my tech journey. I attended this event with great enthusiasm and jotted down all the tips from numerous speakers at the event. But after gathering these tips, I still could not put them into practice. The whole concepts of visiting repositories and contributing seemed alien to me. I felt completely overwhelmed and confused which made me gave up the idea of contributing to open source(OS) projects.
Fast forward to August 2020, I read an article on Hashnode . This very article highlighted beginner friendly projects to contribute and ways to come in as a beginner. I reached out to the author via a DM on twitter to ask questions on some things that were not clear to me. The author being nice and friendly scheduled a meeting with me online and practically hand-held me through on how to contribute to one of the organizations mentioned in the article. That I would say was my first quality OS contribution and I was so excited finally being able to do it without an overwhelming feeling. My contributions to the organization helped me picked interest more in technical writing.
The Journey to SCA contributhon
On the 3rd March 2021, I saw a link to an open source bootcamp on SCA slack channel for women. Even though I was not feeling too well (health wise) during that period, I never wanted to miss out on such an opportunity. For me, it was an avenue to gain more career potential, improve my technical skills and gain more experience contributing to OS projects with mentorship opportunity.
I applied bearing it in mind that it is a very competitive program, for a lot of people are trying to get into open source but do not know how. So they might also be seeing it as a great opportunity like I did.
Fast forward to 26th March 2021, I got a mail stating my invitation for an interview for this program. I was so excited and prepared ahead for the interview. Come 30th March 2021, I got a congratulatory email of being among the lucky participants of the program. Guess what? The organisation I made my first OS contributions to was the one I was assigned to work with during this program with a project centered around exercising my technical writing experience. I was thrilled and felt so lucky to be paired with the community I am very familiar with.
Contributing! Contributing! Contributing!
Come 1st of April 2021, we had an onboarding session to help us gain full understanding of what is expected of each participants. Few days afterwards, myself and other fellow participants paired to the Layer5 organization had another onboarding session with the mentors.
I was assigned to work on the Layer5 Community Handbook project with two other amazing ladies. The purpose of the project was to act as a guide as well as to provide an overview of the Layer5 community for contributors. This guide was to include details of how to contribute, community guidelines, the organization repository overview etc.
Every one of us on this project were assigned tasks to work on by our awesome mentors for this project; Ruth Ikegah and Anita Ihuman.
I was assigned to work on the Documentation Guideline section which consisted of the (click on the links below to view areas I worked on);
and the Code of Conduct section of the handbook.
My work and that of my co-mentees on this project were merged together into a single documentation to have a completed community handbook.
Here is a link to the completed Layer5 Community Handbook project: docs.google.com/document/d/1pj1gQgiepQ_3UyR..
Talking about challenges, I will say I did not really face any for I was fully prepared to achieve success in this program by making sure I completed every task assigned to me.
I was able to prevent likely blockers that could act as hindrance towards achieving successful completion of this program. For instance, my laptop battery only lasts for an hour, to avoid it being a blocker, I borrowed people's laptop to work with.
The following has really improved for me during these past few weeks of contributing;
Ability to make thorough research towards achieving good documentation.
Knowledge of improving organization's documentations.
Contributing to open source is quite an interesting skill to possess as a developer. The next steps for me is to keep contributing to OS projects as a Technical writer and exploring other aspects such as contributing to organization codebases.
I will like to say a big thank you to She Code Africa and the sponsors of this program for creating such an amazing opportunity for women in tech to learn about open source.
I will also like to appreciate my mentors and the Layer5 organization for the opportunity to contribute to the community.