#6 Open-Source Got Me A Job ๐Ÿ’ป

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Hey, itโ€™s Sarthak from Bitfumes! Welcome to the 2nd edition of our Newsletter ๐Ÿš€

A huge thanks for being here with us โœจ

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Hi there ๐Ÿ‘‹

Open source contributions should ideally become a part and parcel of every developerโ€™s life. Why? Because they foster a new and refined way of thinking about problems, bugs, and software design. And you, my friend, are about to take your first step towards becoming an open-source contributor! I want to share my own journey with Open Source and how it changed my life for the better. Letโ€™s dive into it ๐Ÿค“

But before that..

In our previous newsletter, I talked about the Bitfumes Battle of Portfolios ๐Ÿ’ผ The contest is live, and I hope you are brewing something wonderful ๐Ÿ˜If not, go ahead and start preparing your project right now! Missed my previous newsletter? You can read it here.

My First Open Source Project

In 2019, I was working with PHP and Laravel, and by then, I had gained quite a lot of hands-on experience but I never knew that I would create something that would be embraced by the world with open hands. And that is exactly the advantage and beauty of open source software - it is embraced and accepted by all and open to all.

This was the tool I built - Laravel Multi Auth. I built it because I personally needed it for a project I was working on and it felt like the perfect time to hone my skills as well.

Since this was not a feature present in the official Laravel tool set, I felt that it was a great possible addition to the community. And boy, did it kick-off ๐Ÿ˜‡

The package slowly gained traction and in no time, it had multiple contributors willing to fix bugs, add features, suggest improvements, and so on! It was an amazing feeling, looking at the repository growing with more and more PRs raised, reviewed, and merged, and to see so many people taking ownership of improving the package.

I initially never intended for the package to be open-source. I only meant to keep it public since whatever I created with Bitfumes was completely free and public, but it grabbed a lot of eyeballs and today, the repository has close to 500 stars and 10 contributors!

Eventually, Laravel built its own official version of my package later and I fully understood the power of building things in open-source. I started taking it seriously, and the journey has been very thrilling.

What Open-Source Taught Me

My biggest learnings and takeaways are that I first learned how to build something from scratch, and then learned how to build in public. This is very crucial for an open-source developer - start building in public as soon and as early as possible.

Do not wait for all the features to be complete. Do not wait for your app/package to be perfect.

There is no one-size-fits-all. The goal of building in public is to start getting comments, feedback, and contributors from the early stage. You never know who might be interested - all it takes is a commitment to build consistently.

Once I realised the power and importance of open-source, I began promoting it in my newsletter and other community portals. I also learned how to write test cases, raise PRs and issues with best practices, how to create licensing for open-source projects and more.

I also learned another key thing about open-source responsibility - maintaining requests!

The requests for features, bug fixes, etc can become overwhelming and rightly so. Once your project appeals to people, they will definitely want to help you in making it better. And you should definitely heed that advice. Because you do not build a product and then expect the market to accept it. Nope!

You start building a bare-bones version, and then with continuous interaction and feedback loops from the public, you begin to mould the project into a feature that the market wants. Thatโ€™s what Product-Market-Fit is all about, isnโ€™t it?

I Created My Second Big Open-Source Project

I built a CLI tool - Laravel Packer - that helps you create packages within the Laravel ecosystem easily. It was a major project that reached almost 500 stars again, and this time I was recognised by the core Laravel team members including Nuno Maduro, and I got a huge boost in my developer profile.

Giving back to the community will create wonders for your developer journey and my own story is proof of that.

Key Takeaways With Open-Source

Needless to say, I was recognised by the global Laravel community and by the developer community as well. More importantly, my mistakes were pointed out and I learned a ton of new stuff by correcting them, fixing bugs, solving problems and issues, and much more.

One huge takeaway - I got my job purely because of my open-source contributions!

Along with that, I also gained the confidence to learn and build anything with any language or technology. I can now build softwares for my personal or professional needs and that gives me immense satisfaction.

And yet, the hunger and curiosity for learning has never gone down; in fact, it has only increased with each year in my journey.

And You Can Do It too!

Yes, all it takes is just one step with one simple project, be it anything. It need not be a tool, package, or software. It can be a simple theme or a landing page template that you can open-source for anybody to use. Thatโ€™s it!

That is the reason why I started the Bitfumes Battle of Portfolios contest. The clock is ticking, and you can take the next step in your open-source journey right now ๐Ÿ˜Ž

And in the next edition, I will teach you everything you need to know about making your project Open-Source - licensing, documentation, best practices, etc. Are you excited?

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What's cooking at Bitfumes

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:::hljs-center ๐Ÿณ Docker is one of the best open-source projects out there with thousands of developers contributing and building on top of it. And finally, I have a masterclass session on using Docker with PHP. Watch them here ๐Ÿ‘‡

Part 1 - Docker with PHP/Laravel Part 2 - Docker with PHP/Laravel

๐ŸŽฅ Have you used GitHub Copilot? No doubt it has saved many developers' day to day tasks with intelligent auto-suggestions and auto-complete of entire code snippets. But have you really tested it? Have you seen at its boundaries? Watch me dance with Copilot as I push it to its limits๐Ÿ‘‡

Pushing GitHub Copilot To Its Limits :::

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Further Reading

๐Ÿ‘‰ If you are beginning your open-source journey, then you must get better at reading code and projects as much as writing code!

Here is a curated list of must see open-source projects

๐Ÿ‘‰ Once you get the taste for community-developed, open-source softwares, you can almost never go back to proprietary ones ๐Ÿฅฒ But how to find open-source software in this vast ocean of community?

Here is a guide to finding open-source projects

๐Ÿ‘‰ And if my own journey wasn't proof enough, here is yet another amazing story about a developer's journey from open-source to bagging a dream job.

How I got hired by doing contributing to open-source

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