First of all, I want to answer the question that might pop into your head. WHY?? The reason I do this is not only to help other developers with their code but also to form a better coding community. We are all sitting in the same boat. We all love coding so why not help each other out? Even small contributions can help other people.
Despite all this, I also found out I'm getting more GitHub stars and followers from people I contributed to.
GitHub provides us with a search feature. Making our life so much easier.
First of all head over to the top right of the github.com page and click on the little search bar.
Here you want to input the query you're searching for. This should be something you got a bit of knowledge of. For me, that would be discord bots so I'm putting in the keyword discord. If you are a web developer for example you can use keywords like web or website!
Before pressing the enter key make sure to select All Github to scan every public repo on GitHub.
In step 2 we want to configure our search filter to get exactly what we are looking for.
From over 260k results we are now down to 71k but there is one more filter we want to apply
On the top right you can find the option to sort the result. This defaults to Best Match but we want to set it to Recently Updated.
Depending on your search keyword you will find more or less active results. In my case, the newest commit in this category was 35seconds ago.
We now got a list of freshly updated pieces of code that we can contribute to. Usually, I select one with fewer stars and forks to not have a lot of competition but you can choose big projects as well.
Just as an example I picked a discord bot made by someone.
I looked at the code and found a few basic things I could improve so it's perfect for a 5minute break and helps the person out a bit.
I now fork his repo and open it with GitHub Desktop and make my edits with visual studio code. Once I'm done with my small or big change I'm opening a new pull request with my changes in there. I made sure to include a nice description of the changes I made to make it easier for the maintainer to see what changed.
This is it now you wait for the maintainers to check and test your code and merge it into the main branch. You just earned yourself another contribution to your GitHub account and possibly gained a new follower or profile view.
I found out that a lot of developers are too lazy to create a professional-looking readme but a good-looking one is quite important but this gives you the opportunity to help the person out by just making them a better-looking readme using tools like readme.so I will cover that in a separate blog post though!
I hope a lot more developers start contributing to smaller and bigger open source projects as they make all of our lives so much easier.
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