Contribution Learning Curve
Since the start of the OCPP course, I've had the goal of contributing to IPython because I've been a user of the software for more than six months now and have found the IPython Notebook feature to be immensely useful. I also enjoy taking on ventures that will develop my Python programming skills and since it is a Python project, I felt that this also made for a good fit. I have discovered however, that there is a significant learning curve to joining a long running open source project led by paid developers. No doubt this is due to the complexity of IPython, as it is a serious software project supporting a wide range of platforms and features. I also believe that this is an effect of my own bias that making a meaningful contribution to the project involves a pull request with code.
Time to Contribute
This Week's Minimal Contribution
Going forward, I need to better manage my time to find the focused hours of work that are required to make a serious contribution to the project. For now, I have eased off my personal (any maybe biased) requirement for making code contributions and have made a couple of contributions to the Github wiki. On two pages, I discovered broken links to projects showcasing or explaining their use of IPython and I have fixed those two occurences. I definitely believe these contributions will be valuable to the project, as one link correction was for an educational project using IPython on the Notebook example page, a page that attempts to highlight unique uses for the IPython Notebook for new or curious users. One final note is that the enhancement I planned to work on has already been addressed by another developer. This is not surprising, because I acted more as a lurker, not well pointing out or acting quickly on my interest, rather than taking a active role in creating the enhancement.