[swift-dev] Pathway to becoming an effective contributor

Halen Wooten swift at hpwooten.com
Tue Jun 20 14:37:30 CDT 2017


I would like to start a discussion about getting started with the
Swift Compiler. The end goal is to see if there are ways we can help
newcomers to the compiler get started and more quickly grow into a
more effective contributor. The motivation is that I've had a
surprising amount of trouble with my starter bug. Swift is amazing and
I would love to contribute more regularly, but I also don't want to
burden the core team.

I know that documentation on a huge project like this is a
non-starter, but I wonder if we could have better information on the
contribution process, which likely wouldn't change frequently. For
example, I learned through a conference talk that Swift uses LLVM's
lit testing. I couldn't find that in any of Swift's documentation. The
docs explain how to run tests, but not how to write them. I would be
happy to help out with documentation if we can decide on changes that
would be useful.

Also, after I'm able to get my starter bug merged, I have no idea
where to go from there. I don't want to take another starter bug and
deprive someone else of the opportunity to contribute (although maybe
that's an unnecessary restriction I'm placing on myself), but I'm also
not in a place where I could take on something much larger.

The learning curve for a compiler is always going to be high, but does
anyone have ideas on how we could assist newcomers with their first
starter bug and then transitioning into something larger?



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