Despite being a huge proponent of open source I’ve never made a contribution to a third party project until this weekend. The project was a simple scraper that downloads each Jeopardy game from j-archive.com, parses the data, and loads into a SQLite database. The project had one issue open that was to make the download code threaded in order to reduce the time of downloading nearly 4700 games from over 7 hours to less than 30 minutes. I gave this a stab on Saturday and submitted a pull request that was merged in by the author on Sunday.
The process was surprisingly simple and it felt good making an improvement to an already useful project. An idea I’ve been toying with is making a contribution to every open source project I use. Some would be simple and may not even be code while others might be significant improvements. The idea is to continue continue the cycle of improvement to projects that have made me more productive. I can only imagine what would happen if everyone who uses open source adopted this approach.