Our final newsletter of 2021 slid into inboxes at the end of the year, but the entertainment continues no matter what the date. Hopefully we can entertain you if you're on support (ever heard The Server's On Fire as sung by an electronic barbershop quartet? - AUTOPLAY WARNING) and have already clicked so many links you reached the end of the internet before noon. If you have a resolution to start contributing to open source projects, we have inspiration for you. And we have dogs. Adorable dogs.
- Webinar about feature flags!
- Interview with Emmanuel Ola about contributing to open source!
- Corgis (and other dogs) of Cucumber!
- Fun and useful links we need to clear off the backlog!
- And if that's not enough, you can read all our back issues.
Virtual Fireside Chat: How to Accelerate Releases and Minimize Risk with Feature Flags
The title says it all! Enjoy an hour of feature flag goodness.
Interview: Emmanuel Ola talks about how to get involved with open source
We spoke with Emmanuel Ola, a computer science major at Worcester Polytechnic Institute about how he started contributing to the Cucumber open source project.
So how did you become involved with Cucumber open source?
I met Matt Wynne at a diversity event at Apple’s worldwide developers conference. We talked about how there was little representation within open source by underrepresented groups.
It's even harder when you're a college student. There's no incentive to get involved, and little opportunity, but a lot of companies like seeing open source experience, no matter how limited. It’s a double-edged sword.
Matt had a vision for the new contributor process, going through the first issues on the Cucumber project. He asked me what I was interested in doing - I was just starting out so I was interested in a variety of things. We created a group chat with a few other contributors, and then I joined the Slack channel at https://cucumber.io/community#slack.
What was your first contribution to the project?
There was a bug on my computer, specific to my machine, which wasn't yet flagged on Cucumber’s systems. Where I store Cucumber projects, one of the folder has a parenthesis in its name, which isn't something Cucumber mentions you should avoid doing, but it broke Cucumber’s features on my computer. No one had noticed it before. So that was a good project to work on, since it was affecting my machine. It took a couple of weeks to reach a resolution, back and forth, but we did.
Tell us about working with Matt. He's obviously very familiar with the project, whereas you were coming to it fresh.
Working with Matt made it easy to follow the guidelines, which allowed for a smooth operation. If I'd been working alone, it would have been tricky to make sure I checked every box - I would have made a lot of mistakes and been discouraged. Also, having me provide feedback showed Matt things ways to streamline the process. There were things Matt overlooked as a regular contributor/maintainer - this happens all the time when you’re familiar with something - so I provided feedback for things he hadn’t caught onto, or pointed out obstacles we needed to take out of the way. He learned some things, but for the most part I was learning how to stay within the confines of a project.
I learned the different guidelines to follow when I’m making a contribution - not just to Cucumber but to any open source project. I'm leaning how to keep up with the coding style of the project as well as with all the different guidelines and rules and regulations.
Where do you see your future in open source?
I’d love to keep contributing to Cucumber, maybe even make a contribution on my own and get the training wheels off. Down the road, I'd like to make a contribution to something like the iOS community or the Swift community - there are a couple of projects I’ve been looking at.
I’m glad to have had this opportunity, and happy there are even more people joining the new contributors' ensemble. I’m seeing people from a community I was part of - underrepresented college students, Black and Latino groups, where a lot of folks haven’t made their first contributions yet. I introduced Matt to those group and a couple of folks have joined the new contributors' channel, so it's encouraging to see more folks getting involved with that.
Thank you! If you want to see for yourself how this works, you can join the new contributors' channel on the Cucumber community Slack. All are welcome and questions are encouraged! You can follow Emmanuel on Twitter at @demi_the6. To see what we do, check out our YouTube playlist and our Twitch channel.
Corgis (and other dogs) of Cucumber
We've had cats, we've had chickens, and WHO'S A GOOD BOY, YOU'RE A GOOD BOY, YES YOU — er, sorry about that! The dogs want to shine, and since they're all about the Christmas decorations, what better time than now? From left to right: Tobey, Izzie, Teddy, Jesse James, and Beans.
Actually, I think we need a little more Beans.
Fun and useful links (clearing the backlog edition)
Need to destress about the tasks you're rolling over into 2022? You’re never going to finish your to-do list – and that’s fine.
Still need more dogs? This relief of a saint’s dog shines gold.
Confused about subtitles? Squid Game and the ‘untranslatable’.
Worried that the kids are all on TikTok these days and the fine art of developing a shell script has been lost? IoT Hacking and rickrolling my high school district.
Tiny humans? Tiny humans.
Back newsletter issues are online!
If you want to check out where we've come from, these links are where to go:
Issue 1, Issue 2, Issue 3, Issue 4, Issue 5, Issue 6, and Issue 7!
If you have any suggestions for future newsletters, or want to comment, pop over to the Cucumber community Slack. May your servers never be on fire.