Each year, more and more developers join open source communities and work collaboratively to create software solutions. In Matt Asay’s article, The Real Number of Open Source Developers, he states we should see 27.7 million developers by 2023. More importantly, he points out, the pace of first time contributors is astonishing — in 2019, there were 1.3M first time contributors. Looking at the most recent State of the Octoverse, in 2021, it’s reported that there were 16M new GitHub users and 170M pull requests merged. In turn, developers like Eddie Jaoude and formal programs like the MLH Fellowship have become dedicated to drive awareness and success of open source.

At AWS Amplify, we are excited about this opportunity and have been focused on making it easier to contribute. Earlier this year, we launched the Amplify Contributor Bash, an initiative to drive more awareness to Amplify’s open source program. No matter where you are in the world or your experience level, the bash is a call for all developers to get involved. We are excited to work with you!

AWS Amplify Contributor Bash 2022 logo

Amplify allows developers to easily build frontend and mobile applications on AWS. It consists of a suite of libraries that leverage underlying AWS services, as well as a toolchain, called the Amplify CLI, which allows you to easily manage backend resources.

We build and maintain our libraries + toolchain on GitHub. Some of our notable repositories are:

To develop with Amplify, check out our documentation site: https://docs.amplify.aws/. Our docs site is also open sourced on GitHub.

Why Contribute

From a contributor standpoint, there are many reasons you may want to get involved! Whether you want to hone-in or refine technical skills or develop soft skills like communication over feedback. You’ll get feedback from AWS Software Engineers. Lastly, it’s a great way to boost your portfolio and body of work, which is visible to all! Getting involved in an open source community is a great way to build your network and meet others.

Building Amplify as open source software has given us many advantages. For one, it allows us to work directly with community. In turn, we gain thought-leadership from folks all over the globe and can increase our pace of feature development. Additionally, it allows us to transparently discuss feature requests and gain more community input — we can easily discuss where the project is heading.

Getting Involved

The recently launched Amplify contributing site, www.contributetoamplify.com, has all of our resources — a getting started guide, shortlist of starter issues and steps on how to successfully make a contribution. First, decide what aspect of Amplify you are interested in being involved with. Ideally, this maps to a specific GitHub repo. From there, use our getting started guide to clone the environment locally. After you’re familiar with the codebase, browse through the good-first-issues . These have been handpicked as good starting points, but you can always search through our issues or raise a feature request.

Making Headway

Once you have an understanding of your contribution, it’s ideal to start with a draft PR that outlines your plan of action. This allows us to verify the design and proposed solution aligns. During the development stage, reach out as needed. We have a dedicate channel contributing on our Discord server. Once you’re ready, submit the PR for review!

Recognition

We appreciate all the work from our contributors and are excited to recognize folks for their contributions. During the bash, we are providing contributors with a $25 AWS Credit Code, as well as recognition on the contributor site and flair on our Discord server.

Screenshot of Nicholas Reid's tweet where he thanks open source contributors.

Closing Thoughts

Outside of working on PRs in our main repos, there are many ways to get involved. Not all contributions need to be code.

Knowledge Sharing

You can become an Amplify expert by helping other developers in our Discord or GitHub repos. We are always looking for Discord mods and admins.

Content Creation

Aside from pure development, creating content is a great way to impact the community. This can take shape in a tutorial or guide or updating our official developer documentation. Visit our Docs GitHub issues to get started!

MLH Fellowship

For eligible students, the MLH Fellowship is a formal program that sponsors students and provides guidance around open source development. We’ve been sourcing the program since the start! You can read about our experience in 2021.

Follow Thought Leaders

If Amplify isn’t right for you, you can also contribute to other open source projects and helps others get involved! Check out GitHub’s site dedicated to first contributions.