Getting Started With Open Source Software

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Getting Started With Open Source Software

By mw

Quick Intro

Getting involved with open source can be daunting to begin with. Trying to find the right project can be a challenge. This app provides a curated list of issues ideal for beginners, or you can submit your project if you think it would be ideal for beginners


Getting involved with open source software can be daunting to begin with. Trying to find the right project - and an easy problem to solve can be a challenge. This app has a curated list of easy fixes to some well known open source projects. You can browser the list, or pick one at random to help you find something to work on.

There's also support for submitting user projects that are in need of help (and a good starting point for beginners). A list of these is available on the site

Judging Instructions

This entry would be used by someone who was looking to get started with OSS, but didn't know where to start, they could come to this app, pick something at random or browse the list. Hopefully they would find something that interested them

All of the interaction is done with websockets, so the browser your using needs to support them. The stock android browser doesn't work. But Chrome on android does (it should on iphone but haven't tested it). It works on firefox and chrome on a desktop/laptop

What they Used

From package.json:

"express": "3.x",

"ejs": ">= 0.0.1",

"connect": "2.11.0",

"": "0.9.15",

"request": "2.27.0",

"randomstring": "1.0.2",

"octonode": "git://", A fork off Pavan's excellent octonode library: but with a couple of minor changes

"simplesets": "git://"


twitter bootstrap




Your Vote

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Other Votes

  • (6)
  • contestant


    Nicely done. Super useful and very complete. Easy to use!

    • mattyw

      Thanks for your feedback

  • contestant

    Excellent concept. Design/UI/UX needs a lot more work, though. A very personal opinion, but try to avoid the stock Bootstrap theme, it removes the seriousness of any app.

    • mattyw

      Thanks for your comments. I ran out of time with the design. But hopefully I've learned enough to make a decent job of it next time.

  • judge


    Great idea, I love the idea of a curated list of task for people new to open source.

    It mite be an idea to include tips and guides for beginners as well, getting them up to speed and onto sites which provide help as early as possible mite be cool.

    Also links to things like and other tutorials sites mite help.

    Hopefully you keep hacking on the it!

  • contestant

    Cool project. I'm already signed up for Code Triage and follow 8 or 10 projects there, so I get emails when there are new issues to work on. Your project is similar and I'd use it.

    Let me know if you develop it out to include notifications?

  • judge


    I love the idea. And It's interesting how you found easy tasks to fix.

  • contestant

    Very useful thing as for me. But need more time for layout.

  • judge

    Pivotal Labs

  • judge


    Good idea but not that exciting.

  • contestant

    Great idea, I definitely struggled to get started with OSS myself, so something like this would be great :)

    I'd also say that it's probably a good thing for programmers who've been doing OSS for a while. I would have expected to see a programming language option (I can't get started with an OSS project in python, for example), and it would be good to see things categorised into difficult levels, not just "easy", as it may be that the user is a hacker genius but doesn't know where to look to find things to work on.

    UI could have been a little better for the bottom panel, as it's a pain to read things that are stuck to the bottom of my screen, but otherwise I really like the project :)

  • contestant

    Found interesting projects

  • contestant
  • judge


    Idealistic and awesome! The execution could still be improved quite a bit on the UX side imho. If you're the new developer and thinking about contributing to open-source you still might be intimidated by using this interface. Otherwise I think that the app is a cool concept.

    If you plan to continue that with this idea, You might want to think about helping two pair developers with one another in order to tackle issues. Especially since no JS is a platform optimized for collaboration, you might be able to use web RTC to do some code mentoring or something. Another idea is you might want to talk to any of the new hacker dev camps that people are starting to see if they'd adopt it.

  • contestant


    Cool idea

  • contestant


    I can see this being useful for starting open-source developers. Tighter github integration would be nicer - inline code editing maybe? :)


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