This morning I stumbled upon this really great blog post by Rachel Bilbro (@RebeccaBilbro), a data scientist and developer from District Data Labs ). It's a really nice piece about how to get started with open-source data and software development. Contributing to open-source software can be daunting, but as Rebecca points out, the barrier to starting is surprisingly low. You also don't have to be an expert programmer or know everything about GitHub to start contributing... and that is a good thing!
It's worth following @DistrictDataLab on Twitter. They are a data science research institute, data product incubator, and open source collaborative that seems to be working on really interesting projects.
Rebecca's blog post in a nutshell...
Step 1 – Buy into version control
Step 2 – Figure out the Git/GitHub basics
Step 3 – Find the README
Step 4 – Read the Issues
Step 5 – Fork It
Step 6 – Submit a Pull (Merge) request
Next Steps (advanced) – Learn Git Branching & Semantic Versioning
If you are still feeling overwhelmed and need a breather before you dive in, I can highly recommend watching Thrift Code
– Made with love at .Astronomy6.