Why am I still not doing open source

    In a previous article I published on Habré (" So why don’t you participate in the development of Open Source software? "), The author raised the question - why developers do not participate in open source projects. Today I propose to look at the situation through the eyes of a developer who wants to help open source, but once again postpones this step. What is stopping him?

    Brandon Hays wrote an excellent article on this topic in 2011the translation of which I publish below. Through the experience of the author, I wanted to get a systematic understanding of the problems that make open source “unfriendly” for beginners. I would be very happy if readers share their experiences: has something changed in recent years? How did you solve / solve the indicated problems? What needs to be done to make it easier to participate in open source projects?

    And yes - in spite of all the above, I personally believe that Open Source is the only possible future for software development. Many will disagree with me - I ask you not to throw stones, I will try to develop this idea in more detail in our next articles.

    I am such a hypocrite. A few months ago I wrote a post about overcoming the fear of participating in open source projects.

    And since then has not taken a single step in this direction. In the comments on Twitter, I wrote that for beginners, open source projects are like cages with tigers. I have to say, since then my opinion has not changed.

    No, I, one way or another, participate in several projects. But still I feel like an outsider, because my contribution does not concern the code.

    So why do I (and, I suppose, many others) remain “open-heartedly quiet”?

    Highly risking projecting my feelings about the situation on others, I would put forward several assumptions.

    • There is no certificate, rite or insignia with which you could publicly declare your readiness to participate in work on open source software.
    • It is not clear where to start. Judging by what I heard, most of the work of the participants is adding missing, but necessary functions, or correcting detected bugs. They can solve problems identified in tests and even publish patches. I don’t come across such things every day. Few developers ask for specific help with the project, and even fewer seek to take care of beginners.
    • Guidelines make the life of curators easier, and mine is harder. Yes, overseeing an open source project is a difficult and thankless job. But I met the rules of participation and guidelines that pack a simple fix idea into so many layers of bureaucracy that associations with Microsoft unwittingly arise.
    • Open source for those who code better than me. I understand that this sounds like an excuse, but I am uncomfortable with the realization that the software that I publish can be used by real developers.
    • My attempts to participate in open source projects were unsuccessful - that makes me feel stupid. So I sent a few pool of requests, and not one of them was approved. And not a single comment about the reasons. This is like confirmation from the universe, they say, yes, you are an idiot and your “help” is out of place. Extremely humiliating waste of time.
    • No time. I have a child, a new car and a growing mountain of responsibilities. It takes me 3-10 times longer to write code than experienced developers. Also, contributions not related to the code also take up time that could be devoted to coding. Yes, this is a universal excuse, which without the others is not so significant, but it is worth mentioning.
    • Lack of collaboration culture. I think most developers are used to understanding everything themselves and do not expect outside support. But is open source something a spiritual path on which no one can join you?

    So yes, open source can be as intimidating as a cage with tigers. I have no solutions to the above problems. I just would like to see more projects that clearly indicate what they want from the contributors: in the form of, say, calls for additional testing or to fix specific bugs or to finalize the documentation. And I would also like to receive prompt answers to pull requests.

    It would also be great to supplement the functionality of GitHub with notifications about active projects that correspond to your professional level. That would be a nice feature.

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