The main reason why Speckle is Open Source is that this enables us to work collaboratively and build on top of each other's efforts and together progress as a whole. Instead of working in isolation duplicating work and erecting new barriers, we want to create an ecosystems of transparent and highly interoperable tools that will be the next generation of BIM and AEC software.
There are multiple reasons why you might want to contribute. From wanting to add a feature that is missing, fixing a bug that's blocking you, or maybe simply because you like the project and believe in the greater good we can achieve by building on top of each other's efforts.
Contributing to Open Source projects is also a great way to build up some personal portfolio and sharpen your skills with a specific framework or tech.
Finally, it's also definitely the best way to gain more visibility within the community and to to build relationships with your peers - with which you probably share many interests.
Not just code
Contributing to Open Source Software (OSS) is never just about code, there are tons of things you can help with even if you have never opened Visual Studio. Let's start with the simplest ones.
Spreading the 💗
We don't have a marketing team or business development initiatives, we believe in bottom up adoption. If Speckle is truly useful, people should just pick it up and use it! By spreading the Speckle gospel, you'd be playing a key role in helping us grow and succeed together.
You can do so in many ways, by using Speckle and recommending it to friends and colleagues, liking and sharing our social media posts, pushing for its adoption within your organization and also presenting it at conferences and events.
Being an active community member 👪
A shared missing and a common greater good are what brings us together, by being an active community member you create value that in turns helps the project and other members alike.
Do introduce yourself, join our monthly community standups and help other folks when they ask for help on the forum, sometimes it just takes a few minutes!
PS You can enable notifications too, not to miss out on new threads and replies 😉.
We try our best testing our software before each new release, but sometimes something inevitably slips out.
No, you won't be bothering us! Reporting bugs on our form as soon as you find them is incredibly helpful, this is why we're letting anyone use versions of Speckle before they're released to the public.
Read more on becoming a Speckle Tester on our forum.
Suggesting new features
Again, you won't be boterhing us if you request a new connector or feature on our forum. That's why it exists in the first place: to help us be closer with our community.
We are domain experts in various fields, but you are most likely more up to date with the needs and issues of your specific trade. Don't hold them to yourself, share them with us so we can make Speckle even more useful and better.
Showing how cool Speckle is 😎
We know that Speckle is used by thousand of different organizations across the globe, from interoperability to custom integrations and completely new applications... And still, we struggle getting case studies to show around!
Have you done something cool with Speckle? Maybe a nice workflow, a proof of concept, or maybe a fully fledged application using Speckle as a back-end.
It'd incredibly helpful if you could share it with us and the rest of the community, it doesn't matter if it's via your own media channels or ours.
Writing documentation 📚
Our documentation website is fully open source as well, this means anyone can edit and improve it.
As Speckle developments moves at a very fast pace, it's quite common we forget to describe a new functionality, update a few images or refactor some parts.
You can edit our docs online directly from GitHub and we're here to help if you need any additional guidance in doing so.
Making new tutorials 🎥
Are you a Speckle pro user? Help others getting to your level too! Making simple tutorials on how to achieve something or on how to use a specific functionality can really speed up adoption.
Both video and text formats work great and we're happy to host them on our website or to share them from your own.
For the hackers
Your first PR
Got the skillz? Let's put them at good use! Our GitHub backlog is full of small issues that could be a good fit for a new contributor. Can't find something that fits? Let us know on the forum what your interests are and we'll suggest something.
Here are some suggestions for speckle-sharp.
NOTE: Pull Requests should always be discussed in advance, so do create an issue or comment stating our intentions, that way we can both avoid conflicts and wastes of time. Please see here our contribution guidelines.
If you're brave to enough to start tackling larger contributions, the next step would be either creating a new connector or creating a new Speckle app.
Short of ideas? Again, we're here to help, just keep in mind that whatever you develop will need some sort of maintenance and support over time.
As you can see there are plenty of ways, for all skills levels, to start contributing to Speckle. If you've read this far, then you don't have excuses! 🥳