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How to Start Contributing to Node.js

How to Start Contributing to Node.js

Getting into an open-source project can seem a bit overwhelming. Whether you’re entirely new to open-source or not sure where your interests and skills could be helpful, it can be a hefty investment just to go and learn about a project before even thinking about contributing.

Node.js is a pretty massive project, with a lot of hidden areas that may not be immediately obvious to someone trying to get involved.

To address how big the Node.js project is and help smooth out getting involved, I’ve written up a collection of different points that are great to get started and get involved with Node.js as an open-source project.

Working on Node.js Core

The core Node.js project, found at nodejs/node on GitHub, is maintained by the CTC Members and the project’s Collaborators, but is a welcome environment for anyone who is interested in getting started with contributing to the core project. If you’re interested in contributing time, effort, and code into the project, this is a great place to get started.

You can find a suite of minor enhancements and bug fixes that need attention but are a good way to get started with the project with the Good First Contribution label – at the time of writing, there are 39 open issues tagged with Good First Contribution. There’s plenty to start working on!

The core Node.js project does have guidelines and processes in place that can seem a bit daunting, but just giving it a go is usually the best way to get started. Even if you make a mistake, there will be a CTC member or Collaborator that will be able to point it out and how to correct it as needed.

Contributing to Node.js Working Groups

The Node.js project has a concept of Working Groups – these are independent groups, under the project, which are enabled to go and focus on a single task that is not necessarily directly related to the core Node.js project itself, but is still needed or useful to the project.

Contributing Non-technically to the Node.js Community

As important as the development of the core Node.js project is, it’s not the only way to contribute to the massive ecosystem and community that has developed around Node.js. Personally, the reason I even approached the project was the promise that individuals could contribute with no code required. Since I started, these efforts have grown tremendously and are continuing to gain momentum.

Live Committee and WG Meetings

On a weekly basis, there are both Committee and Working Group meetings livestreamed out to the Node.js YouTube channel. Usually, these sessions have an open Q&A at the end – questions can usually be asked on the issue for the current meeting (found in the description of the livestream), in the #nodejs IRC channel on Freenode, or in the YouTube chat.

One Final Note…

If you’re interested in the Node.js core project and the surrounding community, be sure to check out our How To and Community sections – we publish a suite of content weekly about Node.js, including a recap of the previous week of activity in all the working groups, teams, and committees that I discussed in this article.

Further, if you’re new and looking for some hands-on Node.js experiences for your team, we can probably help you out with an Arch Eval or a Node.js Training.

Finally, if you’d like to be kept up to date on the latest news and announcements from the Node.js project, check out @NodeSource on Twitter. We’ll keep you informed with the latest and greatest from both the project and the community.