My open source journey

Open source offers unmatched flexibility and freedom

I had as a main objective when I started my Coding Experience (CE) to get to grips with C or C++ since I am convinced that understanding any of these languages will help me become a better programmer. Cog is developed in C which explained my excitement when I was introduced to the project. The first couple of tasks assigned to me were beginner-friendly.

I got stuck on my third issue, like it usually happens when you start working on a project for the first time. After weeks of working on it, I didn’t complete it. My mentor and I had a couple of meetings to mix with coding sessions, which helped me move ahead. I could feel that there was a knowledge gap I had to bridge in C and studies and practice hadn’t taken me there yet. Cutting the long story short, I got really exhausted and anxious and suggested to my mentor that we move to something else and revisit this issue later.

After a couple of days, I was presented with a new program that can help me make the most of the CE. I will be returning to contributing actively to GJS, since there was good progress when I previously contributed to it. The only difference is, most of my contributions will be in C++ and will probably include more core stuff.

The majority of open source communities aim to motivate contributors to continue making progress. For this reason, they try to be as flexible as possible. It’s very easy to find situations where some contributors come together and come up with a system to easily onboard and sustain new contributors. GNOME does this, Igalia and Mozilla too based on my interactions. Not everyone gets the opportunity of getting into open source through Outreachy, so I will be sharing other opportunities in open source for beginners and some success stories.

Thanks for reading and I will love to hear how flexible you think open source is in the comments and how this has helped you make progress.

By the way Cog 0.12 is soon to be released. Release notes will be available here.

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