First Experience with Open Source

Christopher Diep
2 min readJul 22, 2020

During this COVID-19 pandemic, I want to try and give back using my skills.

Enter Open Source

Here’s a good introduction for general audiences:

Everyone collaborates together and volunteers to write code for fun. I decided that is how I can give back.

My Contribution

I found out about the COVID Tracking Project after reading a news article and wondering what is their source for the data. I discovered it is the COVID Tracking Project, so I checked their website out. I admire how this volunteer organization collects data so that we in the United States can better understand this public health crisis.

I saw they had a GitHub page and went from there.

I looked at their different repositories. I found a repo for the website itself and under the Issues tab they had an issue labeled as “good first issue”. When I read it, I quickly realized it would just be implementing conditional rendering in React.js. I have done that before!

Here’s my pull request:

The trickiest part was figuring where to implement this and getting this repo set up on my local dev environment.

I read the and followed the Install instructions under Development. Also, I checked out their Contributing Guide.

Once I was set up, I made changes to the code and tested it in my dev environment. When it started working the way I expected, I pushed the code and opened a pull request.

It feels good to get the LGTM (looks good to me) from someone and have your code merged.

Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash

P.S. I ran into an error getting the repo to run locally so that took a bit of research but other than that it was straightforward.