PyCon UK

Registration Office

A newcomer’s introduction for contributing to an open source

PyLadies NorthWest mentored open source sprint for beginners.

Tania Allard, Katjuša Koler, Nikoleta Glynatsi

Monday 17th, 16:30 (Room B)
Monday 17th, 14:30 (Room B)


A workshop (3 hours)

Open source projects such as Python and its multiple stacks (web, scientific, etc.) are nothing but a collaborative effort from many community members. It is this constant involvement of the many maintainers, contributors and users that make open source software sustainable and keeps the community as a whole going on.

Walking the path from user to collaborator, and thus contributing to an open source project, can sometimes be intimidating especially for newcomers. From a technical perspective, interacting with web-based hosting services (such as GitHub, GitLab, etc.), branching and opening pull requests can be overwhelming if these are not everyday actions of your workflow. The correctness of the code and whether it will break everything are other common obstacles and fears any newcomer might face.

Several workshops around the UK are held that provide training for contributions. However, we understand that people of specific groups do not always feel comfortable to attend, nevermind to contribute on their own. This is reflected in the very low number of women contributors to open source not only in the UK but globally (e.g. less than 10 female contributors to CPython and only 2 female core maintainers).

For these reasons, we are proposing a workshop at PyConUK 2018, with the support of PyLadies Northwest UK, aimed for people of underrepresented genders. This workshop/sprint seeks to provide mentoring and guidance to beginners for contributing to open projects in a safe and friendly environment.


  • The speaker suggested this session is suitable for new programmers.
  • The speaker suggested this session is suitable for data scientists.

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