Adam Ralph

Software, tea, and snowboarding

No Pull Request Is Too Small

This is a message I try and convey as often as possible to people starting out in open source contribution. To show how easy it is, I sometimes send a tiny pull request live on stage. I don’t even have to leave the GitHub web UI.

And this is not something I do only for show. If you were to follow my activity on GitHub you’d see that I do this for real. If I’m browsing some source code and I see a typo, why not fix it there and then? Project maintainers (myself included) appreciate these little fixes and polishes. Every little bit helps.

It was heart warming for me to learn that I inspired Justin Nel and Paweł Grudzień when they watched me do this in my talks. They went on to send their own small improvements to NancyFX and DNX.

Indeed, this is something all OSS contributors should bear in mind. Beginners, journeymen and masters alike.

The next time you’re browsing some code on GitHub, see if you can spot an opportunity to make a tiny improvement. Click the edit button, and just do it. You’ll improve the project, even if only a little. All the baby steps add up. Your name will enter the commit history and you’ll be a recognised contributor. If it’s your first ever pull request, you’ll have taken your first step in an exciting journey.