Thanks to the growing importance of the internet in our daily lives, the default workforce culture has changed, the way we work keeps changing, and as if that is not enough, there are now jobs that gets employees asking you, ‘where can I find you online’, or ‘do you have any published works’, not ‘where is your graduate certificate’ or ‘where did you go to school’.
This is not to say schools are not important, they still very much are. What you make of your life whether you were privileged to attend a school or not is what counts.
Back to my story, these growing questions are not to be ignored. And my response to anyone looking to build their career in tech is always the same. Find an Open Source Project close to your heart to contribute to.
Have this at the back of your mind though; regardless of the career path you are on or plan to be, you have to learn how technology integrates into your field, especially the internet, and how you can take advantage of it, because it matters!
This in turn begs the question, what is an Open Source Project, where can I find one to contribute to? According to the OpenSource.org website, Open Source Software is made by many people and distributed under an OSD-compliant license which grants all the rights to use, study, change, and share the software in modified and unmodified form.
If you are reading this and interested in knowing where to begin to contribute to an Open Source Project. I am making my known list of Open Source Projects with links to where you can read about and begin to contribute to the one that interests you right-away.
- Creative Commons: https://opensource.creativecommons.org/
- WordPress: https://make.wordpress.org/
- Mozilla Firefox: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Contribute
This list will be updated frequently with verified links to where you can get started on right-away.
I am guessing you feel the need to ask me why you should contribute to an Open Source Project? If yes, keep reading so I can highlight some of those reasons for you!
- For most, your contributions can serve as your Resume as it contains proof that you are skilled in a field you seek to earn from. A WordPress example is a link to your .org profile, which contains almost all activities of your WordPress contribution. Check out mine here: https://profiles.WordPress.org/mariaojob, pretty cool if you ask me
- Again, your contributions make up your Resume, not only does contributing to Open Source boost your self esteem, it is a faster way to kill impostor syndrome especially for those who are just starting out
- Some people do not like to get into Open Source because they don’t get paid for it, mind you, some people do get paid by their companies to contribute to an open source software. The vast number of contributors however do not, in my opinion, the payment comes from the genuine relationships you build, the people from different organizations you interact with, and the knowledge exchange that goes on amidst all this. Getting paid is great, but remember, what would money be without people who make and spend it 🤷🏽♀️
PS: I will update this post when I have more thoughts and links to add!
Picture Credit: Myself working remotely from an AutoShop, while my Car gets an Oil Change. Shot by Tomiwa, who just finished participating in an in-house coding summer camp we had.