Hacktoberfest Helpdesk

Event: Raise.dev

Joe is a professional host. I didn’t know about the raise.dev’s mission until his introduction but I think it is a very cool one! I am glad I had the opportunity to be part of it.

The raise.dev’s goal is to help developers to find their direction in the tech industry. I think it is much needed. The career letter is getting crazy every day more. New job titles come and go daily, and it is hard to figure where you want to go.

I didn’t have the opportunity to share during the interview, but I think it is essential to mention the advantage you get in life when you know what you DO NOT like. I am far away from that. I am starting to feel about it, but I am not that close to saying: “I don’t like YAML.” As soon as you know what you dislike, it is time to move on and leave it out of your life very quickly. In tech, it can be a technology or a way of thinking.

Anyway, I have to admit I find myself way more comfortable than what I thought sharing how I got to development. I presume there is nothing unusual in there, but Joe highlighted a bunch of points that I hope will help more people to step up, learn in public, and contribute to opensource. Because I think it is a great way to make friends, work, and grow up.

As you will hear in the interview, I want to highlight what I think we can call: “my way to familiarize with a repository,” obviously it works with private and opensource one. I use the same techniques when I start a new job.

I think this list is project independent a well, and I am an actionable person. So I like to make my hands dirty with the project as soon as possible. If you are not like me, you probably need another list!

Clone the repository

Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO, shared during a GitHub event something that sounded to me like: “to start contributing to opensource you have to clone the repository locally” it looked obvious to me when I heard it, but now, it means everything. As soon as you clone code to your local environment, it becomes like every other code you write every day. It becomes your code. As you do with your code, now it is time to run the code, find bugs, compile, and see if it works better than before.

Have a look at the README

Usually, in opensource, this is an excellent way to start familiarizing with the developer who wrote it; very often, it is the creator. Please don’t take it too seriously; it usually represents how the project should look like in theory, or let’s say, the best scenario. It is the front door. It tends to be clean and welcoming.

In a close source environment, it is hard to get a good readme for my experience.

CI/CD configuration does not lie.

When you have the code locally, I want to compile it. From my experience, open-source tools have CI/CD. Very often, they have Makefile, but it tends to become unreadable pretty quickly. So if you can’t find what you are looking for in there, look for GitHub actions workflows description, Travis CI files, Drone, Jenkinsfile or similar.

Based on the maturity of the project, the CI/CD pipeline gets executed way more often, and it tends to be very noisy when it fails compared with commands listed in a README, so they are more likely to work. In there, you will find the build command!

Where is the entry point?

When you know the language of the codebase, this task is more accessible. You should look for the program’s entry point. Every application has one. It is more challenging for libraries or frameworks, but every project has at least one entry point (if it is a mono repo, for example).

When it comes to a Golang application, you know that somewhere there is the main function. It is often in a file called main.go, and this file is in the root of the project or inside the cmd package. You will have to find the right pattern for your language.


That’s it! I hope you will try to use the list I just shared and watch raise.dev, it is a cool project. I want to thanks Rain for the opportunity as well!

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