I’ve been slow to realise how much of a beneficiary I am of the Open Source Software community for a while. The operative word for me being community. What gets people to contribute to a project that doesn’t seem to have a discernible ‘leadership’ team that drives outcomes?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been asking my colleagues how someone like me could get involved in such a community. After all, I can barely code, I am certainly no developer, and the extent of my programming skills focuses on identifying the big problems worth solving for in the context of where I work. So for all practical purposes (read
excuses reasons for not getting involved), I have nothing to offer.
I do realise that writing is something I can do reasonably. Translating tech-speak at work I am not too bad at. Could I use these skills in the OSS?Yes, is what I’ve been hearing a few people say. It does require me of course, to understand the tools of the trade, and source control software such as Git/Github are some I ought to learn how to use.
So that’s what I have been up to the last couple of days. Thanks to a video I found by ‘amigoscode’,
I’ve been discovering the magic of how these things seem to work in practice. I learnt
git init and
git show and
git status and
git add and
git commit and
git push and
git pull and how these little bits of code work.
I’ve struggled with learning how to code – the mental model I have of learning other things hasn’t translated well into code learning. I tried Dr. Oakley’s technique: 20 minutes of watching video and following along, then taking a break to think about what I did, and then doing it on my own. It’s become quite useful already. I did get stuck when the instructions didn’t match the problems I was facing. Having to figure out what the problem was and then fixing it on my own has been quite satisfying.