Giving Something Back – Contributing to Open Source

For years and years, I’ve used open source applications and libraries. The more I used, the more I felt guilty for taking advantage of other people’s hard work. I’m not sure I’m alone in feeling that, but for years I’ve wanted to give something back, and for some reason, never got round to it. I was thoroughly ashamed of myself. I’m a reasonably competent developer, and it was well within my power to do something about it.

I’ve used may different products: NuGet, Orchard, log4net, Cassandra, ELMAH, Glimpse, Ninject, Castle Windsor, jQuery, Modernizr, WordPress, Rhino Mocks. I could probably easily go on and list a hundred or so, but that’s not the point really.

At last, I’ve done it. Last week, I submitted a pull request to the NuGet Docs project on CodePlex. It wasn’t a big change, it wasn’t even “real” code, just some fixes to the installation instructions for setting up a local copy of the NuGet gallery. It was accepted.

I’ve now started one very small step down the road to giving back. I intend to do lots more. If you use open source products, and you have the skills to contribute, I strongly urge you to do so. Thanks.

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