7 things I learnt from coala

2 minute read

So this New Year, I started seriously contributing to Open Source. After going through tons of organizations I shortlisted a few of 3-5 based on my interests, skills, and several other factors (I like some maths and analysis!). But I soon discovered keeping up with several organizations is more pain and less gain for me. So now I’m down to only 1 organization that I’d put my best efforts into. coala is a user-friendly language independent code analysis tool built mostly using Python. It’s been exactly 2 weeks contributing to coala. Following are some of the things that I found interesting about coala:

  1. coala starts with a lower case ‘c’ and not ‘C’.
  2. coala is vast! There are many coala projects on Gitlab as well. There are around 10 gitter rooms, and tons of other communication channels for coala apart from Gitter. Check this
  3. People here are fun. Well at least much more fun than other organizations I’ve tried to contribute and failed (I guess that’s the reason I decided to just stick this time)
  4. Try using coala in your projects as well. It’s fun and made me realize how badly I disregarded PEP8 earlier :P Contributing to Coala is helping me be more disciplined as a programmer like writing cleaner code, good commit practices and much more.
  5. Don’t tag @sils unnecessarily in gitter. Yeah, this topic often comes up in the channel. He’s a nice guy but he has other works as well. Other maintainers like @jayvdb, @udayan, @makman2, @fneu, @adrianzatreanu, @mixih, @adtac and many quality developers there to help out if one get’s stuck.
  6. Review other people’s code, or at least try to see how they approached solving the issue. Code reviewing is as important as creating a Pull Request. I’m now trying to improve my capabilities to find functionality related bugs in the code.
  7. Don’t ask for help on the channel before trying to help yourself. coalians are not dependent on someone else, they solve their problems on their own. I mean we should do some research on our end before posting a question/error. I realized that a simple mistake on my end could waste a lot of valuable time of someone else.

And if you didn’t noticed that I spelled coala with an Uppercase ‘C’ in the 4th point, it’s okay! Next time you’ll never miss this. Have fun :)

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