If you are new to open source and you are looking for tips on how to succeed in your community you can see the following 7 ways of how to make yourself a valuable member, selected by the IBM community.

First, you need to understand the personality of your community because as we all know, each community has its own way of working. Read and respect the community’s Code of Conduct, and if they don’t have one… well, that might be a red flag.

Another very important rule is to behave in a respectful and professional manner and treat others the way you want to be treated. Start with small steps, so that you can build up trust in your community. In the beginning, you have to contribute with small changes before you will be trusted to make larger ones.

Make sure that your codes are always clean, manageable and tested because we are all earning respect and eminence based on the content that we provide. Including tests with your code is always helpful so the reviewer can validate that the code is clean. You also need to have a maintenance plan. As soon as your code is committed, you need to be responsible for it or hand it off in a responsible way.

You need to be looking to other people for advice and offer your help in return. The experienced contributor is usually more willing to answer your questions and do code reviews of your work if you help them out.

Last but definitely not least, know your licence and stick to the rules. For instance, IBM prefers to contribute under permissive licenses such as the Apache v2, MIT, EPL, and BSD licenses. So, before you contribute to open source, make sure you understand the licenses and also the rules of your company. Talk less, do more, and prove your worth to the community and after all, remember that you are your reputation.

 The combination of the way you treat other people in an open-source community, your general attitude, and the code you put out point to who you are and whether you’re going to be a good community member or not.

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