First contribution to a Mozilla project

How did I decided to which project I wanted to contribute?

2 factors: curiosity about an almost entirely new technology (android) x familiarity with javascript.

I’ve decided to face familiarity first. It was the right choice, coz the way to my first pull request was a curious one.

It was A LOT on information to process. I had to remind myself to calm down and take long breaths from time to time. Not that it was hard, it was just a lot of information. But ALL you need is out there, either documented on wikis or gitHub or available through the communication channels (IRC or email).

My first impression was wonderful: I got interested by a project (Improving user experience of Firefox Accounts) mentored by a very attentive and mindful tutor . (I dont know if I can tell his name, better ask him first…). At first I felt very challenged because I couldn’t figure out why I had problems running it locally. Turns out sometimes it’s not enough to read all the docs at once, at the beginning most of it doesn’t make sense yet.

I found myself wandering through LOOOOOTS of code. Then I asked for help and it worked =)

Just one important tip: pull requests can be messy to understand. make sure you have a copy of the code on YOUR gitHub, otherwise you’ll end up trying to push stuff over to upstream code. And sure, YOU DONT HAVE ACESS TO IT, DUH! =p

Eventually it all works out. You add another remote to git, understand which branches you are working with and then sends your pull request to be reviewed. And if you get lucky your reviewer will give you very helpful insights on how to improve your solution.

Just another important tip: make sure you follow the tutorials and have a cheat sheet with IRC commands and the readme from the main repo open.

Now I’m diving myself into the tests code. =) And helping to figure out how to keep my clone in sync with mozilla’s repo. Think I have to do it in order to avoid conflicts =)


Hello World || TODO List

I’ve just got back from my biggest adventure: Almost 3 years in France. (Well, not quite, I’ve returned to Brazil 7 months ago.)

But this itchy in my shoe keeps me pushing forward: I’m looking for a new adventure. This will include either of the following:

  • participate in more hackathons;
  • contribute to an open source project;
  • learn embedded (arduino or raspberry pi)

For my first post, nothing better than telling you my first step.

The timing is perfect to start contributing to the open source world. I saw a post on facebook about the Outreachy and GSoC programs. So my “path” was chosen by timing/destiny. I’ve taken a look and some projects got me really hooked up: Mozilla’s in both Outreachy and GSoC and Systers’ in GSoC.

As the application deadline for Outreachy is earlier, I’ve just made my first pull request to the Firefox Accounts project.

And it’s UNBELIEVABLE how much I’ve  learnt so far.

I’ll talk about 2 main things in the next post:

  1. entering a community (building the project locally, finding the right people);
  2. Making a pull request (OMG!)

ps: When I started to learn JavaScript I had to code a todo-list app in both Backbone and AngularJS, so I think about it as the equivalent of “hello world” in other languages =) It’s a great way to start.