Contributing to GNOME

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Hello there! Welcome to my Open Source Diary, where I document my open source contributions, experience, and some useful tips that have helped better the start of my journey. Feel free to check out other articles.

I will be writing about my contribution so far to the GNOME Project.

The GNOME Project brings companies, volunteers, professionals, and non-profits together from around the world making GNOME 3: a complete free software solution for everyone. The technologies are freely downloaded, modified, and shared with others.

I was intrigued about getting involved in open-source and was searching for open-source projects I could be part of considering my small skillset. I saw a tweet about GNOME looking for African contributors and figured out it will be a great start for me. I hopped on the telegram channel and introduced myself and that’s where the journey in GNOME started.

When you come into an open-source community, try to introduce yourself and areas you can help

In some short paragraphs, I will be telling you about the projects I am involved in at GNOME.

The first project I started with is the Scalable Onboarding Project (This project focuses on how to do scalable onboarding for newcomers into the various teams from a holistic level). Over time there has been real frustration with new contributors in GNOME, either not understanding the structure or who to go to, getting lost in the tools and technologies, and so on. So this project aims to improve this newcomer experience making it better and scalable.

Joining the first time I tried to understand what the project was about and how to actively engage. We usually have meetings every Saturday at 18:00 UTC, where we all brainstorm on ideas following the project plan on how to achieve our aim. I try at every meeting to contribute my ideas too because the project is peculiar to me as a beginner in open source contributions.

Open source is not just about code, your ideas are welcome and counted as contributing

The second project I am contributing to is the Faces of the GNOME Project (a web page that consists of an opt-in index of all our past and current Contributors, Speakers, Staff, and Foundation Members). In this project, I help out with fixing content typos and improving grammar.

The third project I am contributing to is the Extensions Rebooted Initiative (project focuses on improving the experience of extensions in GNOME). In this project, I am helping out with fixing extensions documentation.

Yeah I know, a whole lot but the community here is the spice!

Coming into GNOME, I had zero knowledge about it, like I never know their technologies existed (blame it on my non-interest in computers before now). I was coming from a total beginner background but the community has been so welcoming that my many questions (I really ask a lot) were responded to in a friendly manner.

I was given the opportunity to improve while making my little contributions. There were days I flopped and was totally lost and I was encouraged that I will understand with time and assured I was not the only one going through a hard time understanding.

Fortunately, the projects I am currently contributing to are new projects making it easier for me to blend in while illuminating my voice and ideas.

It really has been a great experience as it keeps getting better. Engaging in the GNOME community, I have met wonderful persons in tech and got to know about other open-source projects.

Additionally, my skillset keeps improving, I have known about some cool tools and technologies and using them:

Shoutout to Sri Ramkrishna, you’re my MVP, always here to answer my many questions and helping me break down the technical stuff in simple terms.

Wanna start contributing to GNOME!, check here for details.

Feel free to send a message here, as will be happy to hand-hold and show you around!

Thanks for reading!

Wachukwu Emmanuel's photo

Wow, this is a nice piece. Thank you for the inspiration Ruth

Anisat Akinbani's photo

Thanks for sharing Ruth!

Faith Kovi's photo

Wow.....reading your article made me interested in open source. Thanks.

Ruth Ikegah's photo

My pleasure Faith Kovi, let me know if there is any way I can help!

Efereyan Karen Simisola's photo

open source warrior. keep it up