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Lacey Thoms

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Want To Contribute to Open Source But Aren’t a Coder? No Problem

You might not be a coder, but that does not mean you can’t make valuable contributions to the open source community. Contributing to open source is a great opportunity both for you as an individual and for the community as a whole. It can be extremely satisfying to work with open source, as well as being a valuable skill to add to your arsenal. Open source thrives on a wide spectrum of talents and skills. It takes all kinds of effort to make for a vibrant and useful community and create successful open source projects.

Coding

As a non-coder, you can still take an active role in open source. Here are a few ways to get involved:

Evangelize for the community on behalf of specific projects. Sharing your experiences with using open source can boost your own credibility within the community as well as recruit more users to your favorite projects.

Report bugs that help coders fix their software more quickly. Bugs are often found once “real people” start using the software on a regular basis. Report what works and what doesn’t to the community—your input can help create better code.

Write content about open source and raise awareness. Writing about open source, how you use it, your favorite projects, and your own experiences can help build a stronger and more vital community that contains a multitude of voices. Technical and coding expertise is needed to help open source projects move forward, but the support of others who use and contribute in other ways is important as well.

The open source community needs your support, whether or not you can code. Raising awareness and becoming an active contributor to the open source community are just as important to the cause.

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More Stories By Lacey Thoms

Lacey Thoms is a marketing specialist and blogger at Protecode, a provider of open source license management solutions. During her time at Protecode, Lacey has written many articles on open source software management. She has a background in marketing communications, digital advertising, and web design and development. Lacey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Carleton University.