How to Join Open Source Python Projects As a Beginner?

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How to Join Open Source Python Projects

Among many programming languages, Python tops the chart for several reasons. The number one reason is that Python has a huge number of libraries available online as well as source projects. Python is used in almost all types of projects, including machine learning and animation. Therefore, if you want to join a Python project, you should learn about at least some of them. This article will discuss everything about Python projects, including how to join one and which open-source Python projects are there to join.

How to Join Open Source Python Projects As a Beginner?

How to Find an Open-Sourced Python Project?

What kind of Python project you want to join depends vastly on your interests and skills. For example, if you are a biology student and like to study the human body, there will be many open-sourced python projects on Github that cover that area. On GitHub, there are certain repositories with an “awesome-projects” category that come with a wide collection of projects in a certain category. For example, if you like biology, you can find python projects related to biology on GitHub. There will be a list of projects that are related to biology, are open-sourced, and are divided into blogs, databases, and more. On the category page, you will find the Codes section where you can find various projects that are categorised in the biology field, but they also have their own sub-fields.

For example, there are general-purpose projects that concentrate on spectroscopy; there are projects that work as tools for creating visualizations for biological data; and more. The “awesome-projects” tag is available in other Python projects in other fields as well, and depending on your level of knowledge and requirements, you can determine which one you want to join.

What are the Ways to Contribute to a Python Project?

There are various ways you can contribute to a Python project. You can contribute to CPython in these ways:

  • Fixing bugs in the codes
  • Writing a unit test for the functions in the standard library
  • Writing documentation for the processes in the standard library

If you plan on contributing to other Python projects, then your roles can be:

  • Writing documentation for the Python Developer’s Guide
  • Translating documentation
  • Utilizing your skills and fonts to enhance the user experience of Python’s official site

As a contributor, you can also help your fellow contributors by forcing requests. The developers of a project have a lot of things to take care of in the work environment. The Python project can grow better if you can help the developers with little tasks like fetching requests.

Where to get all the Information about Contributing to a Python Project?

When you are contributing to an open-sourced project for the first time, you will require as much information as you can gather in one go. Your first source for resources must be the Python Developer’s Guide. This resource has all the information you need, starting from how to judge the possible contribution, how to troubleshoot issues in the contribution, etc. After going through the guide, you can gain an understanding of the contribution and the use cases of these tools in Python projects:

Github: The contributors of a Python project communicate with one another through GitHub. With Git, you can host codes, create controls for versions, provide feedback on the project, and work on many other tasks.

reStructuredText: reStructuredText is a marked-up language that helps you create documentation for your contribution to the Python project.

Sphinx: Sphinx is needed for creating Python documentation. For more information about this, check out a video on Introduction to Sphinx Docs and reStructuredText.

As a contributor, you don’t necessarily need C language expertise, but if you do, then the contribution will be easier.

How to Familiarize Yourself with the Project?

Once you find the resources to contribute to a Python project and find a project that suits your interests and skills, the next step will be for you to analyse how huge and dynamic the project is. To get knowledge about the project, you can look at the right column of the project’s dashboard. Here you can find when the project was last updated. When a project is inactive, the last time the files in the project were updated will be a few months or years ago. Anything after a few months is considered recently updated, but when a project has stopped receiving updates, it either means that the project is stable enough to be left alone, or the project has been replaced with another, or has been abandoned. However, sometimes some project files are not frequently updated. This situation is common when some files are not expected to be modified massively throughout the lifespan of the project. Such a file is.gitignore.

Still, there can be other files in the project that were modified a few years, months, or days ago. In that case, you can contribute to the project to be part of an active community. Alternatively, you can contribute to an inactive project and make it active all over again by implementing your desired features and extensions. And then when someone like you tries to contribute to the project, he will be a part of an active python assignment.

Once you find an interesting project that also meets your skill criteria, you can pursue its source code and consider the infrastructure of the project to understand its style, intent, and many other features. Depending on the length of the project, the contribution can be time-consuming. But if you read the source code of the project by isolating the code first, then you can gain a clear insight into the application.

How to Decide your First Project for Contribution?

If you see a feature or function in Python that you can improve with your contribution, then you can suggest the edit. But when you are contributing for the first time, to make the process easier, start with a problem that has been withered by a community member. You can contribute to the Python developer’s guide and the problems or issues can be found on GitHub. If you’re planning on contributing to CPython, then you can create an account on Python’s bug tracker. To register as a new user, you have to go to Users and then click on Register from the left side menu. You will find so many issues that were addressed by the users as well as the core developers, but some of these issues might have already been resolved. But you can filter the issues that are resolved by going to Your Queries and clicking on Edit.

If you filter the issues to only easy documentation issues, that will be easy for beginners to resolve. But there are other queries too, such as easy tasks, reports without replies, unread, recently created, 50 latest issues, etc., that will help you select an issue you want to resolve. After finding an issue that you are willing to fix, check out the comments and their discussions. Maybe the issues have an ongoing discussion regarding how they will be resolved or a user is working on the resolution already. You can find the most delinquent rendition of the code and its documentation if you want to know if the case has been fixed or shut down by the main developer.

But once you find which issue you want to resolve, you will have to drop a comment below the issue to let others know that you are going to fix it and also inform the others about the deadline for when you can submit the resolve. Interacting with the other contributors in the comment box is important because if someone does not know what issue you are working on, they will take on that issue and it will waste both of your time.

How to Deliver your First Contribution?

You will have to submit a pull request to contribute to a Python project, and the information about the life cycle of the request is mentioned in the project’s official documentation. Most of the time, you will have to submit a pull request by following a step-by-step process, but since there are main developers involved in the project, you might not get a response quickly. However, if you can explain how you can resolve the problem and you can submit one pull request at a time, it might increase your chance of contributing.

Conclusion

As you contribute to a Python project, remember that you are collaborating with other users and developers to improve the project. It is therefore imperative that you communicate well. However, if you are already a core developer, contributing to a Python project becomes easier. Otherwise, you can join the Python Software Foundation or request mentorship regarding your contribution to a Python project. Additionally, you can join a team or group associated with the Python project you are interested in.

These ways will help you create an improved opportunity to join a Python project. Some of the most popular open-source Python projects are Flask, Keras, OpenCV, ikit-learn, and more. You just have to consider your skills and interests when you are choosing a Python project, and once you find the one you want to get involved in, you can follow the guide we have shared in this post and move on to the next stage of contribution.

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