One Line of Code Is All It Takes
This tweet showed up in the dbatools Slack channel Friday afternoon.
Just did my first Pull Request to "contribute" to @psdbatools. Granted, the code change was a single line of code that was spoon-fed to me... but it's still my 1st PR ever! Life. Changed. Special thanks to @cl for the spoon, and @wsmelton for the PR assistance. :) #dbatools— John G Hohengarten #BlackLivesMatter (@wsuhoey) November 17, 2017
My first thought was “huh? John (twitter) hadn’t kicked code in previously? I thought he had.” Once I was over that, I reflected a bit on what John wrote here, and was reminded of how I felt when I started helping out with dbatools.
It’s similar to Impostor Syndrome - I felt like I wasn’t doing much, small things here and there, in large part “just” documentation cleanup. The feeling that I was just throwing changes into the codebase just for the sake of making changes. It took me a couple of months and talking to several people before I understood that what I was doing was useful to someone other than myself and internalized what I was hearing.
Here’s the thing that I have finally come to realize. Every contribution to an open source project is beneficial, no matter how small it may seem. I’d heard this over the years but didn’t really understand until very recently.
John’s single line of code, no matter how it is that he got it into the dbatools codebase, made it better. His code will be executed by thousands of users of dbatools the world over.
Most open source project maintainers/leaders are looking for help. Get out there on GitHub and look up a project you use. Find an issue that’s tagged good first issue or help wanted. Hop over to Up For Grabs and find a project that needs a little help. If your PR isn’t immediately accepted, work with the maintainers to get it into a condition where it can be merged .
Single lines of code are welcome improvements to projects. Find yours.