29 Ways to Get Started in Open Source Today

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 28, 2012 from 2:30 – 3:15pm in B302/303


Learn how to get started in open source. You can help your favorite open source project, even if you don't think you're "a good enough programmer". You just have to know where to start, and here you'll learn 29 different starting points where you can pitch in and make a difference in the software that you use every day.


We all love open source software, but to many it seems you have to be a rock star programmer to contribute to your favorite projects. In reality, most projects are easy to join, if you know where to look.

In this presentation, I’ll deal with the common questions and problems of those looking to help out on projects:

  • “I wouldn’t know where to start!”
  • “What’s a good project to start on?”
  • “How good a programmer do I have to be?”
  • “I’m just a nobody, they won’t be able to use me.”
  • “They probably have enough people already.”

You’ll learn about different ways people of all experience levels can pitch in. From coding and documentation to devops and project management to publicity and community, there’s a place for everyone in the open source ecosystem.

If you’ve never had the joy of improving the software you use every day, seeing your work published for the world to see and use, this is the session for you.

Speaking experience

I've spoken at OSCON and YAPC for years.



This talk will also be given at YAPC::NA in Madison two weeks before OS Bridge.