OpenHatch - Matches Volunteers To Projects
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 03 February 2014

OpenHatch is a "dating agency" for free open source projects that has succeeded in being noticed.  If you are a prospective volunteer looking for a suitable project, or a project seeking contributors, its site exists for match making. 

According to the description on its newly redesigned front page:

OpenHatch is a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools, and education.

Its wiki explains that it has the goals of:

lowering the barriers to entry into the open source community and increasing diversity.

Its one-day workshop with the title Open Source Comes to campus has been run be groups at 18 schools across the United States, including eight women-in-CS organizations. The curriculum for the workshops covers the practical skills students need to contribute to open source projects, such as using version control, issue trackers, and IRC and creates connections between students and open source professionals who can explain how the community and culture works. The ide is to give students the opportunity to make real contributions to active open source projects.

OpenHatch has also put together advice for others who want to organize hackathons, worshops and other events in its In Person Event Handbook which is itself open source and welcomes contributions.

For individual volunteers OpenHatch indexes bug trackers and filters them by language and project.  It also identifies "bitesize" bugsthat are suitable for newcomers in that they are "relatively easy and rewarding to fix" and also singles out documentation problems.




For projects needing help OpenHatch provides the opportunity to import its bugs into the index it maintains and also has advice about how to make projects more welcoming to new volunteers as well as more findable. It provides "Training missions" - which were initially built produced by a Google Summer of Code student.

Contributing to open source projects is increasingly being recognized as a good first step along the road to a career in software development, OpenHatch sounds like a much needed resource for new would be contributors to find FOSS projects to help and vice versa.


More Information

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Google's Summer of Code


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