Become a nurse for open source code

Help diagnose open source projects: CodeTriage needs you!

Sarah Schlothauer
open source
© Shutterstock /  Arcady

Looking to contribute to open source projects but have no idea where to start? CodeTriage is here to help. Find the perfect project for you and become an open source master. The code needs your help!

Sometimes contributing to open source doesn’t seem quite so open. It can be difficult knowing where to start, not to mention time consuming to find a project to give back to. What if the issues found you, instead of the other way around? CodeTriage does exactly that.

Created by Richard Schneeman, CodeTriage’s name is a reference to triage nurses that take care of emergency room patients before they see a doctor. Triage nurses evaluate the severity of injury or illness, check the symptoms, and decide where to assign the patients.

Don your white hat, it’s time to become an open source nurse.

How does it work?

The idea is simple. CodeTriage sends you custom emails of open source issues from a repository and instructions on how to help it. Your job is then to assess the issue and provide helpful feedback. These little bite sized chunks all come together into something great: better code, better projects, better open source.

SEE ALSO: Security vulnerabilities in open source and GDPR implications

If it’s a bug report, you will attempt to recreate the bug. If it’s a code snippet, you will review it and see that there’s no glaring mistakes. Leave note for maintainers’ on why the code works, or why it doesn’t, and context on how to help. See a problem and know someone who can do the task best? Assign the problem to someone else with the proper experience.

All of your comments and tasks will help clean up projects and make maintainers’ jobs heaps easier.

The same is true of code maintainers. By adding your repo to CodeTriage, you’ll receive more help from eager developers. Let interested developers sign up to triage your repo

First, you should sign up with your GitHub account. After that, you have the option of selecting how often you receive projects, how many to receive at a time, and what language you prefer programming in. (Believe it or not, there’s even some issues in the old veteran Fortran.) It’s entirely customizable depending on the workload you wish to receive or what sort of projects interest you and your unique skill set.

Whether or not you’re aiming to fill your day to the brim with open source, or just casually check out a few once a month, it’s up to you.

See it on GitHub to learn more.

Why contribute?

Contributing to open source may not give you overnight fame and fortune, but the reasons why you should help are endless.

SEE ALSO: The growing appeal towards open source

  • By helping open source projects, you gain experience that may impress a future employer. Want to know what employers are looking for? The annual Open Source Jobs Report clarifies what sectors are booming.
  • Contributing today means less buggy software tomorrow.
  • Exploring the code of different projects can help you become a better developer by proxy. Adding your name to the commit log of big name projects is one way to stand on the shoulders of giants.
  • Expand your sphere of influence! Meet other developers and help your favorite projects grow.
  • As the CodeTriage site says: “Fix the issue and everybody wins“. Open source benefits everyone!

We want to hear from you! How do you find open source projects to contribute to? Is it intimidating to begin contributing?

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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