Contributing to Python

Asked by At

I'm a pretty inexperienced programmer (can make tk apps, text processing, sort of understand oop), but Python is so awesome that I would like to help the community. What's the best way for a beginner to contribute?

7 Answers

Midhat On Best Solutions
  1. Add to the docs. it is downright crappy

  2. Help out other users on the dev and user mailing lists.

  3. TEST PYTHON. bugs in programming languages are real bad. And I have seen someone discover atleast 1 bug in python

  4. Frequent the #python channel on

Decio Lira On

I guess one way would be to help with documentation (translation, updating), until you are aware enough about the language. Also following the devs and users mail groups would give you a pretty good idea of what is being done and needs to be done by the community.

Corey Goldberg On

If you aren't up to actually working on the Python core, there are still many ways to contribute.. 2 that immediately come to mind is:

work on documentation.. it can ALWAYS be improved. Take your favorite modules and check out the documentation and add where you can.

Reporting descriptive bugs is very helpful to the development process.

paxdiablo On

Get involved with the community:

S.Lott On

Build something cool in Python and share it with others. Small values of cool are still cool. Not everyone gets to write epic, world-changing software.

Every problem solved well using Python is a way of showing how cool Python is.

dowski On

Start by contributing to a Python project that you use and enjoy. This can be as simple as answering questions on the mailing list or IRC channel, offering to help with documentation and test writing or fixing bugs.

crystalattice On

I see two ways of going about it: working on Python directly or working on something that utilizes Python

Since you're a beginner, you're probably hesitant to work on the core Python language or feel that you can't contribute in a meaningful way, which is understandable. However, as a beginner, you're in a good position to help improve documentation and other items that are essential to learning Python.

For example, the Python tutorial is less of a tutorial (in the standard sense) and more of a feature listing, at least in my opinion. When I tried to learn from it, I never got the feeling that I was building up my knowledge, like creating an application. It felt more like I was being shown all the parts that make up Python but not how to put them together into a cohesive structure.

Once I became more comfortable with the language (mostly through books and lots of practice), I eventually wrote my own tutorial, trying to provide not only the technical information but also lessons learned and "newbie gotchas".

Alternatively, you can contribute to the Python world by using Python in programs. You can contribute to projects already established, e.g. Django, PyGame, etc., or you can make your own program to "scratch an itch". Either way, you not only build your knowledge of Python but you are giving back to the community.

Finally, you can become an advocate of Python, encouraging others to learn the language. I kept suggesting to my supervisor at my last job to use Python rather than Java when a considering what to use for a new project. I tell everyone I know about the joys of Python and encourage them to give it a try. I convinced the administrator of a computer forum I frequent to create a section for Python. And, as I already said, I wrote a tutorial for Python and I'm working on a new one for wxPython.

There are many ways you can contribute to Python that aren't necessarily programming related. As your programming skills grow, you may want to move further into code contributions. But you may gain more satisfaction by helping others find the same joy you found in Python.