It Started with a Typo: My Journey to Becoming a Contributor in PGMQ

It Started with a Typo: My Journey to Becoming a Contributor in PGMQ

This story is based on true events and shows how anyone can become an open-source contributor with a little help from maintainers.

I was casually exploring GitHub when I stumbled upon PGMQ, a project using PostgreSQL for message queuing. I found a typo in the README and thought, "Why not fix it?" So, I forked the repo, corrected the typo, and submitted my first pull request. To my surprise, it got merged! Feeling like a hero, I decided to dive deeper.

Encouraged by my first success, I explored the codebase more. I noticed PGMQueue lacked support for environment variables. Thinking it was a simple task, I added the python-dotenv library and submitted another pull request (PR #222). Then came the feedback. One collaborator wasn't a fan of auto-loading environment files and suggested reading environment variables directly. Another contributor liked the idea but recommended avoiding the dependency on python-dotenv.

After much discussion and feedback, I removed python-dotenv and changed the implementation to use environment variables if provided. Additionally, we decided to use unittest instead of pytest for consistency. I rewrote all the tests, learning a lot along the way.

In another instance, I updated the development dependencies in the pyproject.toml file, only to receive feedback that I had removed some necessary ones. After some tweaks and running poetry lock --no-update, everything was sorted out.

We also revised the README to avoid using python-dotenv, making the setup simpler and cleaner. Despite the challenges, these experiences were full of insights and learning opportunities.

Feeling more confident, I tackled more significant features. One ongoing project is adding support for metrics to the Python library (PR #227). This should help users gain better insights into their queue operations.

Looking back, it's funny how a small typo led me to contribute to a project I really enjoy. Each task, no matter how simple, taught me something valuable. If you're thinking about contributing to open source, just go for it! Every little step counts.

For more details, check out my contributions: PR #214, PR #222, and PR #227.