(Image credit: Old Book Illustrations)
The first way I found is raising bugs. I’ve pushed open-source software quite hard and found bugs in Pandas and Bokeh. Both of these projects have Github pages and both of them have pages to report bugs. If you’re going to report a bug, here are some rules to follow:
- Make sure you’re using the most up-to-date version of the software.
- Make sure your bug hasn’t been raised before.
- Provide a simple example to duplicate the bug.
- Follow the rules for reporting bugs - especially with regard to formatting your report, the heading you use, and any tags.
For reference, here are some bug reports I’ve raised:
For reference, here are some suggestions I’ve raised:
For reference, here’s a showcase project I made available for Bokeh.
On the whole, I’ve been very pleased with the response of the developer communities to my meager contributions. Most of my errors or suggestions have been implemented within a few months, which contrasts with my experience with paid-for software where there often isn’t a forum to view bugs or make suggestions.
If you’re a user of open-source software, I urge you to contribute in any way you can. We’re all in this together.