Giveaway: OSCON Austin, May 8-11!

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O'Reilly's amazing OSCON is coming to Austin, Texas from May 8-11th, 2017.  OSCON celebrates open source, the community, and the driving forces for open source software on the web.  We've all used open source software and many of us have contributed to those open source projects.  OSCON gives you a chance to meet and listen to like-minded people in the community.


O'Reilly is giving a free pass to one of my awesome readers!  All you have to do is leave a comment below mentioning the first open source project you contributed to.  My first open source contribution was to MooTools and I look forward to hearing what your first contribution was!


O'Reilly has also given me a 20% off discount code to OSCON!  Use `PC20DWALSH` to get a 20% off discount on this or any other O'Reilly event!

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  1. The first one I remember was Phergie, an IRC bot written in PHP. I currently help maintain it now.

  2. Husain

    The first open source project I contributed to was SciPy.

  3. Oooh, lessee. In the early 1990’s I had a job putting together a database front-end for government projects (which would be open-sourced by now, but you don’t want the code). It was for IBM, and it was all done in C++ for OS/2. There was a sense of doom hovering over the entire project, partly because the people working on the replacement for our project were down the hall, and partly because. . .well. . .OS/2.

    OS/2 was pretty wobbly, but we were assured that a new version called “OS/2 NT” was just around the corner, and it was terrific and would take over the world. And it did, sort of.

    As for public-facing activity, it looks like my first GitHub public commit was in 2014, and it was correcting some API documentation in a library that allowed standalone Flash Android games to talk to the Google Play Games services. Nothing planet-smashingly interesting there :)

  4. Jake Smith

    My first open source contribution was reporting and fixing bugs in, I used it to manage virtualhosts (locally) in apache before VMs were really the new hotness. I wasn’t really great at BASH, but I saw a problem and wanted to share the fix.

  5. My first open source contribution was to Install Rails by OneMonth.

  6. While taking a rails bootcamp in 2014, I started an open-source project as my final project. The project’s goal was to create a free platform for disease foundations and nonprofits to connect their communities with clinical trial opportunities. New to rails, the codebase was a complete mess but it was a great learning experience.

    Life got busy for me and I didn’t see the project to completion. Several months ago, I carved out free time to rebuild the platform and we just launched it for the National Brain Tumor Society this week. You can take it for a test spin at

    Original Version out of the bootcamp. (No tests!) (
    Rebuilt Version now live (175 tests!) (

  7. Memory fails prior to github, but my first open source contribution on github was a patch to ahoward/main to update some dependencies in 2012.

  8. I hope the giveaway is still going on!

    Not counting personal projects, which are all open source (and some of them quite dinky), my first contribution to a major open source project was filing an issue with A-Frame, Mozilla’s WebVR framework. :)

  9. Kevin

    My first contributions to open source were in OpenSolaris.

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