Beginner's Path to Open Source


3 min read

“Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much more.” - Helen Keller

“When a group of people decide to carry out a project, for example, make a campfire; someone gathers sticks and leaves, someone digs a hole, and someone gets kerosene. It is the same for building software, and in essence, using Github.”

This precise statement was said by Mbaoma Chioma Mary during her expository session - Understanding the Basics of Github. This event was held via Whatsapp on the 4th of October 2020. Oma explained that the division of labour enhances collaboration and quicker execution of a project; hence, the importance of Github.

Here is how Github works - someone creates a repository which is where the code lives, and the software components are delegated to different developers to build. Each developer writes his/her part and pushes -adds the code- to the repository at different times, and the cycle continues.

Out of concern and passion for the individual growth and development of our community members, the SCA, UNILAG Chapter core team encourages the community members to participate in hackathons and events. They do not only create awareness about these events but also equip their members with the basic knowledge required for participation.

HacktoberFest is an annual event open to people with different skill sets and levels to contribute to Open Source. In preparation for Hacktoberfest, SCA UNILAG organized two expository sessions to brief the members on all it entails and how to contribute. “The Beginner’s Path to Open Source” held on the 29th of September 2020 on google meet. The guest speakers were Maryann Onuoha - Foundation member of GNOME, co-founder of Arete Initiative, & Co-founder of Developers’ Chronicles and Ayobami Ogunfemi - Core Team Member of SCA, UNILAG Chapter, Core Team Member of DSC, UNILAG Chapter, a Frontend Engineer, and a Flutter Developer. Rukhayat Orekoya a UI/UX designer and Core team member of the SCA, UNILAG Chapter core team moderated the session.


Maryann spoke on Open source: The Nitty Gritties, how to get started and how to contribute to open source. Here is a summary of her presentation

She highlighted some of the ways we can contribute to Open Source - submit bug fixes, add new features, update documentation, answer questions, and review code. She also took the opportunity to explain GNOME -the foundation she represents- and its projects.


A demo was given by Ayobami to illustrate how to contribute to a repo, fork a repo, create a pull request, etc. A sample repo was created, and a practical session using most of the knowledge acquired took place. All attendees engaged in this.


We express our sincere appreciation to all speakers and attendees in both events held and the SCA, UNILAG Chapter core team for a great organization and coordination.