Writing documentation for any project is tough, be it big or small, propriety or open-source. Rewriting and improving it is even tougher. Let no one tell you any different. Take it from someone who scoured through 6000+ lines of documentation written in Markdown spread across 20 or so files and been able to fix about 900 odd lines of them for a major open-source project. That’s how my story goes if you want to know about my first contribution to OpenEBS.

Honestly, I have little experience in Go, I have never been inclined to use it much. As I am already comfortable, writing code in Python for about a year now. But that doesn’t stop me from learning new languages and technologies. Hence my utmost dedication to cure myself of the “Too Much too Learn” Syndrome. I went to the Women Who Go meetup in New Delhi, India for a Go 101 workshop. And that’s how I got to know about the open-source project, OpenEBS, and their exciting Summer HackFest.

OpenEBS is an open source storage platform that provides persistent and containerized block storage for DevOps and container environments. OpenEBS is also tightly integrated with Kubernetes and is a part of Kubernetes-Incubator project. And works with all popular workloads such as PostgreSQL, Redis, Jenkins etc.

Now, OpenEBS is still under active development from the team. Hence comes in, Summer HackFest. Summer HackFest is a unique opportunity for new contributors and people working with Go to develop and fix issues for OpenEBS and their projects such as Maya, Litmus. By contributing to the Hackfest, you get community access, useful knowledge on working with new technologies, learn new skills and along the way win cool goodies, swag. Also, the chance to take home the grand prize, a laptop. HackFest starts out in April 2018. Being open-source, all contribution was needed to be submitted to GitHub. I did and oh man, I had a good time writing code for OpenEBS. Sounds good. Want to contribute?


Let’s get you started

Refer to this quick guide to get started. You would also need to be familiar with the basics of Go, hence you can refer to the widely recommended tutorial https://tour.golang.org/, for the same. After that, make sure to join the OpenEBS Slack channel to resolve all doubts and questions that you might have. The link can be found here in the contributing document on their repository. Read the document (I re-wrote it) And you are committed.

Go to their website that I linked above, and figure out which section of issues you would like to contribute too. Once done. Head over there, and do your thing. Push the changes, make that PR and rest is history.

Well, sure thing but how was your experience?

Contributors to OpenEBS Hackfest

My experience has been great so far while contributing to OpenEBS (I am still actively contributing to it). Everything was a breeze. They have very flexible rules and easy guidelines, no hard checks with the CI. The reviewers are very helpful, and would assist you in every possible manner ( Shoutout to Kiran Mova !!) I have been working on solving issues in the documentation of OpenEBS and vagrant files that are being used in the project.

Earlier, I also attended a webinar OpenEBS conducted on Introduction to contributing and solving issues of Maya and scope, which was very informative and helpful. Hence goes on to show their dedication to helping their contributors even further then most people would go. The codebase could be quite intimidating at first, but with time and the helpful answers provided by the very vibrant and active community will keep you going. I can tell you for a fact, that the journey is the reward here.

I asked so many questions, and never got a blowback. I really appreciated all the support shown to me by the community. The environment is beginner-friendly and very welcoming, great for all new contributors. It couldn’t get any better with the incentives they add to it for contributing.

I honestly had a lot of fun while contributing. One of the most notable pull requests of mine to Summer Hackfest was about rewriting and improving the documentation, which received a whopping 392 comments. They were sweet enough to put my name on the website with the fellow contributors and made me the star contributor of the week. Woohoo !! They also awarded me with a book as a token of their appreciation. Thanks, OpenEBS !!

And that’s it for this time, I guess. For all my PR’s to Summer HackFest, click here. I will update the blog post with a picture of the goodies once I receive them (So excited). I highly recommend heading over to https://openebs.io/hackfest, to take part in this golden opportunity to contribute to such a brilliant project and being a part of their community.


Vipul Gupta (vipulgupta2048) posts occasional on his blog, Mixster. Check him out there for more updates like these.