Graham enjoys creating software solutions from ideas, especially in collaborative and community arenas. He restores cognitive resources by skiing, riding his bike, and building/maintaining trails.
Here’s Graham’s first pull request story:
My first GitHub open source pull request was improving django-test-plus 26 May 2015:
RevSys’ Frank Wiles created django-test-plus and released it into the wild three days earlier. I really liked how it simplified testing drudgery but quickly found an issue which prevented testing with
AJAX. Gathering my courage I created a fix, which took almost no time. Adding tests proving the fix took a bit longer, and I forgot about updating
README.rst(documentation) until the next day. On 28 May Frank approved with a nice comment (“Awesome thanks Graham!”) and merged in the first PR submitted to django-test-plus. The updated code is still in place today and I’m proud to say I helped make django-test-plus more useful.
Even though I had been using Django since v0.96 and felt entirely confident in my skills, creating that first PR was a big step. After all, this was RevSys and Frank Wiles and I’m not worthy… “imposter syndrome” raised it’s ugly head. The fact of the matter is Frank really appreciates contributions and every little bit helps. I went on to submit five additional PRs to django-test-plus, and in the last year made 764 contributions to public projects (according to GitHub). Improving open source software is lots of fun. :)
My suggestion for someone nervous about contributing: Find a pain point or opportunity for obvious improvement in an open-source project you use often and understand. Figure out a fix, add tests and documentation, and propose to the maintainers. If they are conscientious you’ll get a nice review and perhaps a merge. If they are jerks and don’t respond nicely, do not give up — just drop that project and look for something more welcoming.
I highly recommend Pinax as a great place to submit your first pull request, you can find many active projects under https://github.com/pinax/.
If you would like to share the story of your first pull request with us, please shoot us an email. Don’t remember what your first pull request was? This awesome website will help you figure out what the first pull request was you sent to GitHub.
We can’t wait to hear from you and read all your amazing stories!