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How to Contribute to Redwood.JS

This Dot Media is kicking off a brand new series of videos in 2022 to help developers learn how they can contribute code to some of the world’s most popular JavaScript frameworks and technologies. Subscribe to This Dot Media’s Youtube Channel.

In our first episode, I sat down with David Price one of the creators and maintainers of RedwoodJS! If you would like to watch this interview, you can find it here!

What is RedwoodJS?

RedwoodJS is an app framework built on React, Prisma, and GraphQL that is especially useful for startups interested in prototyping since it integrates everything someone would need to carry out fullstack development out of the box. These integrations include Storybook, Webpack/Babel, and more with zero configurations.

The goal of RedwoodJS is, in part, to allow developers to focus on what makes their applications unique and interesting by handling a lot of the configuration logic inherent to deploying fullstack applications.

David Price

David Price is the Founder of human(Ethos), a San Francisco-based consulting firm that helps product teams build cultures of performance, and currently works as a Developer in Residence at Preston-Warner Ventures. Beyond this, David is one of the Creators of Redwood.JS, and serves as a Maintainer.

Important Resources to Check Out Before Contributing

If you would like to learn more about the specific features offered by RedwoodJS, you can read up on the official documentation here.

You can check out the RedwoodJS repository here. David suggests that new users spend time in the packages folder since these are all the packages that will get published to npm.

And finally, if you would like to become engaged with other developers interested in RedwoodJS, you can join the official community server and/or the official discord server.

The Best Way to Get Started

Before contributing any code to RedwoodJS’ open-source repository, David Price suggests introducing yourself to and getting support from the larger RedwoodJS community using some of the resources above:

“The way to get started is to get the moral support in the community, and say you are interested in helping out! And they can direct you!”

Not only will that give new contributors an idea of what current projects are in the works and where they can help, but it can help them connect with other developers who will direct them to the most ability-appropriate tasks.

PRO-TIP from David: There is a file in the repo itself, called contributing.md, that shows you how to get started on actual contributions!

New contributors can also click on the “help wanted” tab in Github issues to see what work is needed, and available! There are also tags called “good first issue”, which are great entry points to the project. Another tag is “bug/confirmed”, which allows contributors to help with bugs!

Great at reviewing code? Code reviews support functional testing in the PRs! Inside of the CI checks, there is a link to Gitpod which will pull up a VScode virtual editor that creates a test project. You can use this to help run tests! Anyone can come into a PR, run a test, and go through the process to report back what worked and didn't work.

Attending RedwoodJS Contributor Meetups

Visit the community forums for RedwoodJS to learn more about how the community is structured. As mentioned above, there are a number of useful discussion boards where you can find information about announcements, docs, and opportunities to contribute. Once you are active on the forums, you will be eligible to receive invitations to private contributor meetups, but be sure to ask for one, since there may not be Core Contributors who are actively searching for folks to invite!

Contributor Success Stories

  • Peter Colapietro started opening and contributing to PRs for Hacktoberfest. Because of his consistent, high quality work since October, he now helps with the Storybook team, working on a really important PR!
  • There are collaborators working with diversity outreach for Redwood.JS, and they have been brainstorming a lot of ideas on how to get people involved!

Multiple contributors have landed jobs after working with RedwoodJS. The community has been growing and evolving. Jobs are being created within the community.

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