Rion's "Contributing to .NET for Dummies"

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Description

You all know that much of .NET is open source. But you might also think that working on it is beyond you, that there's no way YOU can actually contribute...

WRONG!

Rion's great post below shows you why...

Contributing to .NET for Dummies

Over the past few months in the little spare time that I have, I've managed to submit a handful of pull requests to various .NET-related repositories (e.g. coreclr, corefx, docs, etc.) and incredibly, they were accepted.

Now, for some, this may not seem like a big deal. But it felt like a pretty big one to me so I thought I would take some time to elaborate on the process itself, share my experience, and hopefully dispel a few myths or misconceptions that you might have that may be holding you back from contributing to .NET as well.

Hopefully, you'll find that you don't need to be a genius or design a better sorting algorithm to make a meaningful contribution to .NET as a whole.

Dispelling Some Myths and Preconceived Notions

I'll openly admit that before browsing through the available dotnet repositories I was seriously intimidated, but without any real justified reasons. It seemed that I had built up quite a few myths surrounding the projects that were probably holding me back from contributing, such as:

  • I need to be a coding wizard and all of the open issues are out of my reach.
  • All of the easy issues that I could handle are taken.
  • Since this was all in the open, I will be exposed as a crap developer (see Impostor Syndrome).
  • I've never worked on a project of this scale, I'll probably screw it up.

These were just a few of the things that I had mentally told myself before embarking on this journey. What I quickly found out: none of these things were true.

...

In Closing

My experiences with contributing to .NET have been nothing but stellar. It was great to have a chance to collaborate with members of the .NET team and the community towards improving the ecosystem, even in the smallest of ways. Simply knowing how a minor performance improvement that saves milliseconds here or there could save so much time on such a large scale is really rewarding.

I know that this experience certainly struck a chord with me, and in the weeks following my initial merged pull request, I've probably rattled off 10+ additional ones, and I look forward to contributing more in the future.

I hope that this post helped ease your mind if you thought that you wouldn't have anything to contribute, or that it would simply be beyond your skill-set or talent. There's something out there for everyone, so go out there and get that First-Time Contributor badge and help make .NET a better place.

[Read the entire post... yes, now...]

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