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Book review: Shakthi Kannan - I want to do project. Tell me wat to do.

written by Robin Schubert on 2019-07-08 | Tags: dgplug-summertraining, free-software

I want to do project.

I remember when I graduated from the University, I knew some Physics and how to do some coding or how to write a thesis. What I didn't know was how to collaborate and work in a team, or how to address my issues in mailing lists and IRC channels appropriately. Actually I didn't even know that I didn't know.

I've written about my experience with the #dgplug summertraining earlier. Very slowly I started to discover that I'm lacking the very basics of communication, coding style and organization. I knew some programming but I did not have the means to let anyone else but me benefit from that.

Shakthi Kannan, the author of this book, is one of the mentors in the dgplug summertraining and I owe him much for the valuable lessons learnt.

Rules & Tools to guide you

This book will not teach you coding, but it can tell you how to code. It teaches the rules and tools you need to know, to contribute to Free and Open Source Software and to become part of a world wide community who's efforts power most of today's internet and devices.

It is full of habits and styleguides you should adopt, manners and means to endure, that you need to know to start off with valuable contributions and to avoid frustration early on.

The pure basics

While the content of this book is something that most graduated students are not aware of, these are the pure basics which you need to know and follow for FOSS contribution. If you ever wrote an email to a mailing list or posted a question to an IRC channel and wondered why you either received no helpful responses or none at all, you probably know what this is about.

It contains many real world examples of miserable communication or disadvantageous code formatting that FOSS developers don't have the time to deal with every day. You will have a much better experience if you know the pitfalls to look out for beforehand.

There are chapters that walk you through the steps of triaging a bug, fixing it and making the fix available to be merged; the standard workflows for FOSS contribution.

If you think you want to contribute but you don't know where to start: Read this book!

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