Everything open source
May 16–17, 2016: Training & Tutorials
May 18–19, 2016: Conference
Austin, TX

From first look to first pull: Contributing to your favorite OSS projects

Quinn Murphy (GitHub)
11:05am–11:45am Thursday, 05/19/2016
Open Source 101
Location: Meeting Room 9C Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ***..
(3.86, 7 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

Attendees should have a love and passion for open source software and be familiar with popular source code repositories like GitHub, which we will use extensively.


Everyone at OSCON has been using OSS for some time, but how many of us have given back to our favorite projects? Like many, I thought that the only way to contribute to the projects that I use and love is to be a master programmer, but what I’ve learned and want to share is that there are big and small ways to become more involved in the projects you love.

You can contribute in so many ways! And what’s better is that starting to contribute can get you involved with other people in the OSS community. Even more, contributing can improve your own coding and offer you experience in technologies your job might not make available.

As with anything worth doing, numerous obstacles stand in your way: isolation, fear, and time all contribute to you not contributing. I’ll cover ways to get past these hurdles so you can get to that first pull request and begin the path from a user of open source to someone who helps build and support it.

Photo of Quinn Murphy

Quinn Murphy


Quinn Murphy wandered around the IT landscape for over a decade before discovering the oasis that is web operations. Since that time, he’s been addicted to live opens and open source tools and culture.

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Picture of Quinn Murphy
Quinn Murphy
05/12/2016 5:44am CDT

I have a “trailer” slidedeck to preview what my talk is about. Take a peek!