With time the way companies recruit people is changing significantly. More than your qualifications, your skills and expertise are gaining more importance in the employer’s eyes. There are even articles on platforms like Glassdoor that lists companies who no longer ask candidates for college degrees but look for skills and expertise.
When it comes to open-source, things are becoming the same. While significant and relevant courses, training, and certifications still play a major role, they are not the only things enough to land you a developer job. Companies look for experience, skills, and expertise as well, and one of the best ways to get them is by significantly contributing to open source.
In this article, we list some of the main reasons why contributions to open source is considered to be one of the most effective ways to land your first job in the developer domain.
You Get To Learn About Real, Large-Scale Products
One of the biggest advantages of contributing to open source projects is the fact that you learn about products, production code, the way they work and the stories behind it, and that experience is definitely significant. GitHub, one of the leading open-source contribution websites is definitely the best choice. Being a developer (whether experienced or fresher), if you are not on GitHub, you are lagging behind without a doubt.
There are several projects that are going on GitHub, choose the right one as per your skills and expertise and start making contributions. For example, if you are looking to land a job in a company like Mozilla, you could contribute to Mozilla’s projects on GitHub.
Word to the wise: It might excite you to start working right away on large projects of large companies. However, if you are just getting started, make sure you only work with projects that are relevant to you. Amid all the excitement, do not make a wrong choice and face setback when you face some sheer hurdles during the project.
Learn To Work As A Team
Companies are looking for candidates who are not only good at their work but are also looking for people who are able to collaborate with large teams of developers. The software development is not a no-man army job, if you are good at working as a team, the chance of you thriving is definitely high. And by contributing to open source projects, you get that kind of collaborative and at-scale experience
And talking about contributing to open source, it is not about writing a piece of code and submit. It is a completely uniform process where several other developers work along with you and everyone is assigned different jobs. Thus, it teaches you how to work as part of a team, collaborating with others to build large and complex applications.
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Get Feedbacks And Testimonials
Believe it or not, testimonials and feedback can do wonders. Just like business use feedbacks and testimonials to improve their services and products and also get more traction, you as an open-source contributor can do the same. However, make sure you don’t confuse both the terms.
When you work with an open-source project, make sure you seek feedback. You might be thinking why to seek feedback and not testimonial, the reasons is that feedback is feedback serves to improve your work while testimonials serve to promote it. Feedbacks are important, listen to all the points that others have to say about your work and if you are lagging behind on something, make sure you improve it and get back to work with your better version.
Once you successfully complete a project or successfully contribute to a project, and if the company is happy enough with your work, ask for testimonials. It will help you market yourself better and will help you make an impression on your potential employer.
Network With The Community
When you are a part of a team, working, and contributing to open source, you start to know other folks in the industry. And the major benefit of networking with the community is that they help you land jobs.
For example, you are working on Google’s project on and google is hiring developers to work on their product. What if an employee from Google already know someone who has a better understanding of the product, as well as the work process and that person is you?
That is how it works. The chances of you getting hired increases significantly when you network and work at the same time with the community.
Talk About Your Open Source Contribution During The Interview
So, if you have managed to land an interview, talk about the work you have done. And when we are saying talk about, we also mean that you show them your work online. Also, don’t just talk about things when you have done it really well, talk about your setbacks as well and tell them what you have learnt.
And this when your testimonials play a major role too. It would show the interviewer that whatever you are claiming about your work with a particular project is not just a claim.
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Harshajit is a writer / blogger / vlogger. A passionate music lover whose talents range from dance to video making to cooking. Football runs in his blood. Like literally! He is also a self-proclaimed technician and likes repairing and fixing stuff. When he is not writing or making videos, you can find him reading books/blogs or watching videos that motivate him or teaches him new things.