I get this question a lot! The answer is usually…… u have to figure that out yourself. If you already know what you want to do, then the question doesn’t need to be asked, or the question should have been where do I start? But, if you don’t already know what you want to do, then your time might be better spent elsewhere!
So, here is some motivation that I typically give to everyone who asked this question to me.
The best contributors are always intrinsically motivated. Find out what is itching you. What is the bug that is getting on your nerves? What is some piece of software that you can never work with, and you need a whole different workflow? A completely absent feature, that you find will help you a ton? Work on those!
If there’s nothing specific that you want to work on, then try to figure out, everyone has something or the other not suited to them. You might accustoming yourself to a bug, and never feeling its itch over time. You might have worked your way around a missing feature all this while, and never anymore felt the need for it.
But if you are still beating around the bush, not knowing what to do, ask your friends around. They might have a cool idea, or some small issue that needs help realizing, Get involved!
So, if you want to work on something new, here are my tips:
- Find problems which you are intrinsically motivated to work on.
- Focus on developing skills to get up to speed on new codebases fast.
- Don’t be afraid to work on any project — new languages, tools, libraries; learn enough of them and it’ll only get easier to learn more.
A TLDR; If you want to work on a specific project, and you have a specific goal in mind: perfect! If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, try to come up with some. And if you’re still drawing a blank, consider asking around.