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Thread: Open Source for Beginners

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    Default Open Source for Beginners

    Hello everyone, I am in desperate need of some guidance with regards of open source programming.

    I really want to start getting my hands dirty working on open source projects.
    I understand that it is different and not easy to pick up and jump right in to, but I am really lost as to where to begin.

    I have about 1.5 years of experience in Java programming with some experience in other languages. I am to a point where I think I can understand and possibly work on open source, but when I try to go to somewhere like GitHub, I get overwhelmed and confused by the projects that I look at.

    To be honest, I am perfectly content with spending a large amount of time trying to figure out a project and make it better somehow.
    However, I am completely lost with where to get started.

    I know that I should work on something I am interested in, but more advice beyond that would definitely help.

    Some specific questions that I have include:

    Are there any specific places where I can find strictly Java coded open source projects?
    Is there anywhere where I can find open source projects that are beginner-friendly?
    Is there anywhere where I can find people who are willing to mentor or help out a newbie open source programmer?

    Thank you!


  2. #2
    Member Ada Lovelace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open Source for Beginners

    Good idea and well done for thinking further in the field.

    A couple of suggestions:

    Open source technologies often involve groups of programmers working together to create, maintain
    and modify software that other people (companies) have worked on previously, in exchange to use
    any service they provide - typically for free.

    A good suggestion would be to Google "open-source Java Projects" and see what turns up.
    As for beginner friendly - I believe there is a website called "planetsourcecode.com" that has
    (or did have - have not used it for a while) an option where you can not only learn about
    open-source from looking at other people's code that they post - but you can message them
    and ask to be a part of it.

    As for mentoring - it would probably be a mixture of the first two. If you get on a site or
    meet anyone within the open-source community, make a good friend or more first, share your
    ideas and experiences with them and work together. In fact, you could be a mentor to another person
    with less programming experience than yourself.

    One final idea :- If all else fails and you really cannot find a foothold - you could always begin your
    own project in say Java, make documentation about it, and post it on a forum which asks people
    if they would like to help you on the project. This is a good way to get noticed in what can be pretty
    tight niche' of a field to get into. Most professional open-source projects and handled by large teams
    of programmers with vast amounts of experience - but that will only spur you on to become on the
    elite.
    Good luck in your quest.

    Wishes Ada xx
    If to Err is human - then programmers are most human of us all.
    "The Analytical Engine offers a new, a vast, and a powerful language . . .
    for the purposes of mankind
    ."
    Augusta Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace (1851)

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