Beyond Code: Creative Contributions to Open Source

Beyond Code: Creative Contributions to Open Source

You Made it!

Hey, welcome back! You have survived the “Pick the open-source projects of your dreams” challenge in your new journey.

Brad Pitt in a red shirt dancing

Whoa Whoa! We’re not out of the woods just yet! There’s just one tiny little obstacle standing in your way: you don't know how to code.

Before you start freaking out. I just want to say this. You don’t have to be a coding genius to contribute. Trust me, I use to think this way too until I started contributing. There are countless ways to make meaningful contributions to an open source project beyond just writing code. So step away from your computer (for the moment) and let's explore the many ways you can contribute to your favorite open source project without code.

Lizzo saying "Let's Go!" with confidence

Types of creative contributions to open source

  • Documentation: If you’re like me, a lover of writing and all things text-based, you can do things like revising grammar typos in the repository’s README file and other documents. This is what I did when I first started my open source journey. It’ll not only help you improve your written communication skills but also teach you how to tailor written content to a specific audience. If you need more tips on how to work with documentation, check out this post by Lisa Tagilaferri.

  • Design and user experience: Are you a design genius, a UX mastermind, or just love to draw? You can use these skills to create things like a wireframe for a specific feature on the project, the interface for a section on its website, or logos like this one:

Smiling orange bunny with glasses

So fluffy! 😊

Don’t be afraid to use your design skills. You’ll never know who you might impress. If you need more tips, check out this post by Jeff Macharyas.

  • Marketing and outreach: If you are a social media expert or lover, grab a chair and sit right over here at the open source projects table. Whether it's by crafting the perfect post on Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, or YouTube video to promote the open source project, these skills are perfect. Need more tips? Check out this post by Pam Baker.

  • Project management and organization: Love using tools like Notion to organize your life? Or just awesome with project management? Then you, my friend, have a major role to play. The success of an open source project relies heavily on how it’s organized, so if you can create effective project plans, coordinate tasks, and/or can clearly communicate reminders/ deadlines to your team, please join us. Without your help, there’d be total chaos.

Timon and Pumbaa from Lion King are screaming

Right there with you Timon and Pumbaa!


So there you have it, folks – even if you don't know a single line of code, you can still make meaningful contributions to an open source project. Whether it's through design, marketing, or project management, there's a place for everyone in the open source world. Now get out there and start making your mark on your favorite open source project.

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Brad Pitt dancing by GIF

Bunny Logo by EddieHub

Let’s Go reaction by BET

Spongebob sweats by GIF

Talking Gummy Bears by Haribo

The Lion King by GIF

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