Yesterday was a proud day, because I made my first GitHub pull request.

I experienced that small yet powerful joy when it got accepted and merged. Yep, that’s right, I’ve joined my first open-source project!

The benefits of participating in a project like this are myriad. Firstly, it gives the newbie developer the chance to interact with other devs, using tools like GitHub and Slack. The experience of working on tasks in a community like this reflects many important aspects of that one finds at a junior developer job.

Secondly, there’s the opportunity to become fluent in using Git and GitHub. These two can be tricky beasts, yet they’re an essential part of a modern developer’s workflow. As such, learning to handle them is unavoidable. Working on open source demonstrates to potential employers that you have mastery of these tools. Finally, you get to contribute to a project that loads of people all over the world will use, in its early stages. The feeling of working like this is pretty special.

You might be curious to know what my first pull request was for. I have to admit that it was for a completely non-tech task! The project I joined, Hoodie, has a whole editorial section dedicated to providing great content for the website. When browsing the open issues on their GitHub page I noticed that they had one titled BLOG. I thought it would be a good place to start, so I grabbed it.

Hoodie is probably one of the best moves I could have made for starting out in open source. They are super-friendly and welcoming, with a true dedication to helping newbies get their start in development. They openly seek brand-new devs to join the project, with a range of starter issues especially for them. Hoodie also welcome non-tech folks, such as writers and designers.

So what exactly is Hoodie? Based on the concept of ‘offline first’, Hoodie is a software that allows front-end developers to create rapid prototypes without being slowed down by complex back-end issues. Apps running on Hoodie keep everything neatly synced, so that work is updated and accessible even when offline.

I can’t wait to have a go at building something on Hoodie myself. I’m swaying towards front-end more than back-end at the moment, especially as my JavaScript understanding has started to improve (more on that in a coming post). Hopefully I’ll soon move into solving more techie bugs during my time working with Hoodie.

Check out the blog post I wrote for Hoodie. And if you’re keen to get started in open source, they’re a great bunch of people to join.

Please feel free to comment or get in touch with me if you’ve got any questions about Hoodie or getting started in open source.