Open source projects have had and continue to have a dramatic and profound affect on my career and life. A great example is the community around react. It is so helpful, encouraging, and positive.
Contributing to open source
My teachers at refactorU were the first ones to mention contributing to open source. They said 'if you found a bug, fix it and make a pull request', so I did. My first contribution to open source was simple, but it felt great knowing I gave back and possibly helped someone else.
After contributing to a few other small libraries and getting PR's merged in I was added as a member and maintainer on a simple yet powerful react component - react-swipeable. I truly felt honored and took the responsibility seriously and as I contributed to react-swipeable it helped build my confidence and I started to look for opportunities to contribute to bigger projects.
Open source sum up
I can attest that open source contributing is fun, fulfilling, and actually not too hard to do. Many open source maintainers need almost any help they can get, and a great way to get started is just helping with documentation! I encourage all entry level devs to attempt to contribute back to their communities.
Most of my posts are fairly small and with this post I just wanted to lightly touch on my personal experience with open source. It has been an amazing and rewarding journey that I wish to continue even though I am slightly scared of open source fatigue.
Here's to a bright, open, and knowledge filled sharing future!