For most college going Delhiites, the arrival of summer is a halt to late night studies and stressful examinations. Many students will spend their time visiting to some cliche hill station, running from, the city being showered with the wrath of Apollo; while others will spend their summers employed as interns. I, on the other hand, who had then recently got to know about GSOC and Season of KDE, already eager to contribute to open source, was informed about an upcoming similar program, BOSS. I devoted myself to BOSS — Bountiful Open Source Summer 2017 challenge. Not an internship but a voluntary participation contest.
Many dreams of getting accepted into GSOC but does not know where and how to get started. And as it was same with me, BOSS appeared to be a red carpet for starting my open source journey.
What was BOSS?
BOSS was a contest powered by Coding Blocks. To be the winner one needs to collect maximum bounties by fixing issues of any project which comes under Coding Blocks umbrella and eligible for BOSS. There was no registration or any such complex process to start with. It was open to anyone willing to put efforts and contribute.
The contest started from 15th May 2017 and ended on 15th August 2017. I started with exploring different projects and understanding their code bases, which eventually led me to fix many issues and be a very active participant.
With every PR getting merged and seeing the world using my lines of code, my motivation tank was getting refilled. I worked on projects like Online IDE and Hacker Blocks — an online code submission and assessment platform for Coding Blocks students.
This was an amazing and very engaging experience. There were plenty of issues with bounties assigned to start with. Mentors assigned for each project were really supporting and helped at every point where I stuck. The community was awesome, people including the mentors and the participants too were always ready to help.
I worked on about 9 projects ranging from web games and Jekyll based blogs to online coding platforms; some of them I mentioned earlier.
I started my journey by submitting my first pull request for the Coding Blocks Blog. I improved UI in some, added minor and as well as major features in other projects and even worked on a project from scratch.
In the course of three months I submitted 64 pull requests out of which 60 got accepted. I managed to grab 9650 bounty points which made me win the BOSS Contest.
Being The BOSS Winner
I started my journey with the thought that I might land in top 10 and grab a T-shirt as a prize, and even that thought motivated me to participate. But as I kept on contributing and collected bounties I became the BOSS 2017 Winner.
It is obviously a great feeling being successful at what you were devoted to. Last summer was the best one yet, the amount of things I learnt and achieved during this time is of great value. This was really not achievable without the support of the mentors from Coding Blocks, the great programmers, recognised open source contributors and GSOCers namely Arnav Gupta, Umair Khan, aayush arora, Harshit Dwivedi and Prateek Narang.
I consider my experience participating in BOSS- the open source challenge, that most rewarding one. Open Source has made a huge contribution in developing the world of Information Technology by showing new paths, building new roads and making the journey of a coder more interesting every day.
By contributing to open-source, I was able to develop my skills while at the same time, I was able to collect bounties which led me to win a MacBook Air 2017 as a prize with some more goodies.
The noblest pleasure is the joy of self-satisfaction and understanding.
But the best prize: was that feeling which I feel every time someone uses the tools and platforms which I have contributed too. It gives an immense feeling of joy and satisfaction when the world is using your lines of code daily.
After participating in BOSS, I can really say that I am an open source contributor. If you are looking forward to do some open source contribution, there is only one requirement i.e. willingness to learn. You just need to be motivated for the cause.
You can start with exploring GitHub for trending open source projects. Once you find something you are really interested in and want to contribute to, just start with reading and understanding its source code. You can add some new features, resolve the issues and can even open a new issue if you find one.
You will learn a lot of things in the process, don’t get disappointed if your pull request doesn’t merged, take it as a chance to learn some thing new.
Most importantly Have Fun!