Contributing to an open source project can be... Nervewracking! Magical. Boring?
Regardless of how you felt that first time you contributed, the realization that the project is open and you really can contribute is quite awesome.
For new contributors
Having a safe and welcoming testing ground is what new contributors need. They need to know what the barriers to entry are and what resources are available to them. One tip is to find a project to contribute to that satisfies a need or interest for you. This can create a beautiful, reciprocal relationship. Find out how to contribute to a project in this post for cats, er, newcomers.
About project maintainers
It's good for new contributors to understand that the maintainers of these projects, the ones who review your pull request, often have a totally different fulltime day job and are generally very busy. It can be overwhelming. Sometimes this results in short, blunt responses to new contributions.
Learn more about contributing for the first time and maintainer burnout in Episode 3 of the Command Line Heroes podcast.
Tell us about your first contribution
Think back. What project did you choose? How long ago was it?
Are you still involved with the project in some way, or are you surprised looking back that you chose that project? What feelings came up for you? Scared, elated, angry, happy... or, maybe all of the emotions?