[swift-dev] Pathway to becoming an effective contributor

Michael Gottesman mgottesman at apple.com
Thu Jun 22 11:57:22 CDT 2017

> On Jun 20, 2017, at 12:37 PM, Halen Wooten via swift-dev <swift-dev at swift.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> 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.

I would like to echo what Adrian/Greg have said. There is always more work to be done, so I wouldn't worry about this. But I just wanted to add, if there is an area of the compiler that interests you and there are not open starter bugs in that area, it may just be because no one has taken the time to file one. In such a case, I would just send an email to this list and ask what other things need to be fixed in this area of the compiler. We will be more than happy to guide you [that is how open source /should/ work, after all = )].


> 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?
> Thanks,
> Halen
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