Getting started with contributing to open source projects may seem a little daunting so we wrote a quick guide. This focuses on GitHub based projects as it is a core bit of software for collaborating on open source projects.
First find a project. You can take a look at some of our open source projects as we have many and are very welcoming to all collaborators. One army has many open source projects and from experience they are very welcoming too!
Take a look at the read the readme & contributing guidelines. These can give you guidance on what is expected from a pull request in order for it to be merged back.
See the open issues to see if there’s anything you can do. We recommend finding something that is quick and simple to fix, particularly if it’s the first time you’re contributing to a project.
Make an account for the service provided or sign in if you have one already, just follow the steps in the UI and you should be fine.
This is done by clicking the fork button while signed in on the repository you’re interested in contributing to. You’ll know it’s yours as you’ll have your account name in the URL and at the top of the page.
This can be done in the browser or on your local computer.
In the browser you can edit the files by clicking on the file name & then the edit button. It will open a new page where you can edit it & preview the changes. If you’re uploading many files you can use the upload button & drag and drop them. You’ll need to add a message for what changes you’re making in the bottom of the page.
To edit on your local computer you will need to clone your repository, make the updates locally, commit to the repository & push back to the server. If you’re working on a GitHub project if you want to work on it locally we recommend using the desktop app as it is quite intuitive and open source too!
Follow any templates or guidelines that’s in the repository, give it a name that is understandable and a small succinct descriptions of the fixes or changes you’ve made. You can reference any issues by putting the issue number and it will automatically link it to the relevant issue for context. You may need to iterate based on the auto-generated tests (if they have any) or feedback given by the original repository maintainers.
Now hopefully it will be merged by the repository maintainers and you will have officially contributed to open source!
If you need more details do take a look at the video that this how-to is based off.
Check out the One Army GitHub page for repositories you can contribute to!
If you need some wider context on other open source projects you can take a look at our website and our GitHub as well!