Anita Ihuman

Microbiology student at the University of Port Harcourt. Software developer.

February 2021

Anita makes FOSS and takes our Twitter mic from February 17th to 24th. Thank you, Anita!

Please tell us about yourself

I am Anita Ihuman, a software developer residing in Nigeria. I am a student at the university of Port Harcourt studying Microbiology. I love sharing knowledge through technical writing and I am an open-source advocate. I love cats and getting to know more things by contributing to open source.

What are you working on right now?

Currently, I am working on improving my technical skill. So I am focusing my attention on building personal projects using React and typescript.

What is most interesting about that?

The thrilling thing about the projects I am working on is the fact that I can actually attempt all that I was able to learn from numerous tutorials on my own. Now I can bring all the ideas I come up with to reality. Although I am yet to perfect my skills, I am looking forward to soon.

How did you first discover FOSS?

My first time hearing about FOSS was from OSCA fest that took place here in Nigeria in 2020. I was not able to attend but I followed up on the event on the through the youtube channel. That is how I got to discover FOSS. Since then, I have come to enjoy contributing.

What prompted you to start contributing to FOSS?

Starting up in the tech ecosystem, I was so eager to start working on actual projects and contributing to FOSS was the only way I could do that considering my skill set. Also, I like the fact that I get an opportunity to attempt fixing issues in big open source projects as a way of giving back to the community.

Why should others get involved with FOSS?

I urge others to get involved in Foss because it feels amazing to know you are actually playing a part in putting together a huge project that will be useful to millions of people. Working on FOSS projects, you will find yourself working amongst experts in the field and you are accepted by everyone and have a chance to learn awesome new technologies.

How should they get started?

Getting started in FOSS is as easy as a piece of pie, Github has a vast number of projects hosted on it most of which are open source. You can find projects to contribute to using the explore option. If you find a project you wish to contribute to, follow these steps to make your first contribution. And if you perhaps want to contribute but do not want to write code, here are ways you can also contribute without writing code.

What difficulties and limitations do you see with FOSS?

The difficulties I have observed in FOSS are the issues of poor onboarding of new members into the community: Due to the workload that is left on the shoulders of members of FOSS, there is little attention put into integrating the new members through the basic knowledge they require. This in turn makes new members of the community not fully equipped with the basic knowledge they are expected to have concerning the open source community.

How can they be solved?

Adjust the foundation

By having a good foundation starts with having a diverse team that represents our users and stakeholders. We can do this restarting community engagement by:

  • Doing webinars
  • Hosting hackathons
  • Proactively organizing and triaging issues
  • Announcing releases and contributors to each release

Simplify “getting started”

By providing detailed and friendly documentation on how to set up for a project, we make it easier for new members to self learn and understand comfortably. These resources can also serve as a reference when a new member is confused.

  • A new developers hub
  • New and updated documentation
  • New pathways to contributing
  • Videos
  • FAQs

Learn from diverse perspectives

The ability to improve and progress can be fostered when everyone’s ideas are welcomed regardless of their level of experience of age, or gender. Since diversity and inclusiveness are the goals of open source, it would only be fair that everyone’s opinion in a community is heard. Regardless of the level of experience.

Contributors welfare

Regardless of the fact that they are probably just contributing to the project, the welfare of the new recruits should be a priority to the community. Open source communities should develop metrics that are focused on both physical and physiological problems could be discussed such as:

  • Burnout,
  • Imposter syndrome,
  • Health issues.
  • Make onboarding a culture

Frequently reaching out to the new recruits either through meetings or emails to see how they are keeping up will help them feel welcomed in the community.

Where do you see difficulties in contributing?

Since I am still growing my technical skills, I still encounter difficulties taking on issues that are code related. So I often go for the easy and friendly issues that I am familiar with.

What does a perfect day off look like?

On a Perfect day off, I would rather see a movie over a bottle of wine or sit at the park if I need to clear my thoughts.

Do you want to tell us something else we didn’t ask?

Within a period of 8 months, since I started contributing to FOSS, I must attest that I have experienced so much growth in my technical skills and also in my interpersonal skills as compared to when I had no idea of FOSS. Contributing to FOSS has been a life-changer for me.