Open Source Projects To Contribute To and Learn From

Hello, welcome to open source projects series. Thank you for stopping by. Today am going to focus on open source projects to contribute to if you are a beginner. When starting anything, you want to start it on the right footing. The other day I was talking to a recruiter at an event and what she told me sounded very familiar to what you hear everywhere as a programmer – while applying for a job, you need to have some side project to show for your experience. That will improve your chances of getting an offer.

open source projects to contribute to

So I came back home and decided to do something helpful for all of us: put together a list of good open source projects that could get you started. Warning: This is not to say there are just ten places to take part in open source projects, in fact, you can do more than this. Let us get started:

Top 10 Open Source Projects To Consider

  1. – Perhaps this comes as no surprise simply because most projects are hosted on Github. As the link indicates, all you need to do is visit the site and find a project that fits your needs – which could be language, area of expertise and others. Spending a few hours searching for good projects will eventually pay off. Good luck
  2. – if there is something more appealing about OpenHatch, it is their friendly nature of welcoming new people. You want to volunteer and support your community. Let us be honest here, some projects are not as friendly as you would like them to be. Such situations sometimes shuts off talented people who could otherwise help. So hop in there and sign up for an account and you will not be disappointed. Good luck.
  3. – who can forget Mozilla? No, who am I kidding – it is very easy to  look for projects miles away instead of thinking about products we perhaps use on a daily basis. There is more to Mozilla than just their impressive(personal opinion here) browser –firefox.  On the above link, you will find several open projects that will help you get started. So, without much ado, give it a shot!
  4. LibreOffice Easy Hacks – If you are one of those people who would rather use an open source product like LibreOffice than Microsoft Office, then this project site is for you. It just makes total sense. I like this site because of the simplicity to get started hacking and the rich community makes things much better for new volunteers.
  5. Tor Project : Anonymity – perhaps you are like most of us and you don’t like people spying on you while you watch your funny cat videos online or do anything ‘private’. The bottom line, you want to keep your privacy and freedom to yourself. Well, you can help others who are trying to do the same by taking part in the above project. Let us try it, shall we?
  6. Python 3 Wall of Super Heroes  – are you a python person? If you answered yes, then good for you on this one. Here you can help port projects colored in red to Python 3 and Travis. Once again, this is a python project.
  7. Code Triage – I liked this site the first five minutes I arrived. Why? It is simply the coolest place to start working with open source. I should have listed it as number 1 but the order was not  important here. All you need to do is sign up, pick a language of choice and then a project. That is not even the best part … they send you a bug each day. Just be careful not to pick too many projects. Enjoy!
  8. Contrib Hub – this is yet another awesome place to start helping others or seeking help on your own projects. You can simply start your own repos as well. Good luck.
  9. Google Summer of Code – perhaps I should not forget to mention this one. They offer stipends to write code for open source! The other cool thing about it is the fact that it is global – meaning no matter where you are, you have a chance to participate.
  10. Your Own Project(s) – One thing that is much more impressive during a job interview is actually showing your interviewer your own project. What beats your own effort? Even if your project didn’t make it big, you know very well you started it and are proud of it. Either way, as you work on supporting or contributing to other projects, remember to start your own. Find something you use everyday, see how you could improve it and then go at it. Good luck.

Thanks again for reading this open source projects post and if you have other projects that I should know, do not hesitate to share them with me through the comments section. Please remember to subscribe as well. Have a good day and see you soon!

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Written By Elisha Chirchir

Elisha Chirchir is a software developer. He is also the founder of Simple Developer and co-founder of Instinctive Software Solutions. On any given day, he works on both Android and Web Development. During his 'free time', he offers training to those interested in learning how to code in php, java, python, javaScript etc. You can easily find him on StackOverflow Android chatroom or on Twitter @Eenvincible

7 Comments on “Open Source Projects To Contribute To and Learn From

  1. kashif Reply

    May 28, 2013 at 4:59

    I am surprised to not see sourcefourge and codeplex here :O

    • Elisha Chirchir Reply

      May 28, 2013 at 6:07

      I clearly stated that there are more sources out there. I just didn’t have sufficient space to list them all. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Haszeli Reply

    May 30, 2013 at 1:44

    This is one good list but I believed that the list is based on your experience and favourable selection. Others might list different top 10 🙂

    • Elisha Chirchir Reply

      May 30, 2013 at 2:43

      That is correct. This is definitely not the whole list out there. Please understand that you are free to add your own sources. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Richard Reply

    May 31, 2013 at 3:39

    Great article. Have been doing other things than programming lately. Would like to get back in. Your article has given me some food for thought and some places to look.



    • Elisha Chirchir Reply

      May 31, 2013 at 4:30

      I am glad you liked this. If you want, we can chat more and work together to learn more stuff!

  4. Richard Schneeman Reply

    January 29, 2018 at 5:10

    Love the article. I wrote an app that helps people get started with open source contribution by sending them emails of issues that need to be triaged. It’s a lightweight way to get involved without requiring too much commitment

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