With absolutely zero knowledge of Go 54 days ago, I decided to contribute to the Go project. Why? Put simply, I was bored. The thrill of learning something new, and contributing to a massive OSS project like Go caught my attention.
- Find an issue that’s tagged as HelpWanted.
- There’s a “HelpWanted” tag, which is applied to issues where the Go community is looking for somebody on the outside to fix. I found one such a issue, #21216 with the topic being x/build/cmd/cl: build broken. This seemed a great place to start.
- Go through their Contribution Guide.
- Although I skipped this part at first, the commenting guide.
- I split the issue at hand into two parts, one that provided the resource, and the other to actually fix the reported issue.
- On my very first CL (change list), my commenting style varied greatly. I was asked to review the commenting guide. Read it. Seriously, read it.
- A must read before starting, Effective Go.
- Take a tour of it, in A Tour of Go.
- Use Gogland (I love JetBrains for their outstanding IDEs).
Learning Go from scratch was a fairly simple task. It’s just a new syntax, nothing more. Moreover, there’s always Stack Overflow to help you out. Think of SO as a passive mentor, who gives you advice when it’s asked.
I’ve got to thank a couple of people who helped me along the path, @kevinburke, @bradfitz and @andybons. They reviewed my code, and gave my changes a +2, and submitted them.
What does it feel like?
It feels like the first time you try to dive into a swimming pool. You don’t know whether you can do it, but you do it nevertheless. Getting my first two CLs accepted was a little challenging, but definitely enthralling. Talking to other like-minded people across the globe, committed to fixing issues and innovating, is a completely new experience to me. I’m now set on a path to contribute to Go, as it’s a fun weekend exercise, and moreover, just because I can.