This post is going to describe my journey of being selected as a student developer for signac under Google Summer of Code.
I am a senior undergraduate from National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur with the major in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I started programming in my sophomore year of college but did not have any experience with open-source until my senior year. I got introduced to open-source and to signac by my friend. I started out with reading the documentation and getting myself used to the modules used in the library. The signac developer team was very friendly and assigned me various ‘Good first issues’ and also solved all of my questions. After solving some issues, the community encouraged me to try some of the harder issues. One such issue was also one of the projects for Google Summer of Code. I started breaking the problem into smaller chunks and solve them one by one. By doing so I got enough experience to deal with the real issues. I formed a plan to tackle the issue in the 3-month duration and created the proposal for the same. Even after submitting the proposal, I continued to solve related issues and gain more experience with the library. I faced many questions when I was writing my proposal, but the signac team helped me along the whole process.
For new contributors:
Open-source is a whole new world in itself and anyone can contribute to it, even if you do not have much experience with programming. There are a whole lot of different types of work in open-source like solving issues, adding features, documentation, etc. Every library on GitHub has some issues labeled for beginners, start with them, and learn new technologies being used one step at a time. In signac, we have good first issues for beginners. They mainly consist of documentation changes, minor code fixes, etc. You can contact the signac developers in the Gitter chat room and the Slack workspace. We welcome new users and contributors to learn more about the project via this website and the signac documentation.