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The DevCon website and Open Source

Apr. 16, 2013 | by Bryan Bibat | Category: Site News

Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed the addition of a new link at the footer:

Since it's inception last year, the source code of the latest version of this website has always been publicly available. Starting out as a simple Github Pages website, we eventually converted it to the Rails web application you're using right now.

Coming from school or a strict corporate environment, you might be wondering why we're freely sharing the source code for something we've worked on for months.

First reason is a cultural thing: as web developers, half of our source code is already accessible every time you open our web applications. And as Ruby/Rails developers, we embrace open source rather than look at it with suspicion. Besides, it's not like people are going to "steal" our code: any halfway-decent professional web development shop could build something better than this unpaid, part-time effort in less than a week.

The other reason for hosting our code on Github is that it makes collaboration easier. Any Rails developer within DevCon can look at the code and propose changes without much hassle. And this reason leads us to the whole point of this post:

We are now accepting pull requests for the DevCon website.

The project's Issues page lists the enhancements and bugs that to be coded and fixed. To contribute, just clone the project, make the necessary changes (and hopefully with unit tests), and attach a pull request to the issue. (More about creating pull requests on this Github help page.)

Contributing to the source code counts as volunteering: a minor change can be equivalent to being an usher in a DevCon event, while a major enhancement can count as one or more speaking engagements with DevCon. As mentioned in the FAQ, these volunteer efforts count towards being a member of DevCon. 

So if you want to help DevCon but can't volunteer in our events due to scheduling conflicts, here's your chance.

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