As part of a university course I’ve had the task of contributing to a large-scale software project in which I chose Ruby on Rails. As someone who is new with contributing to larger projects, and unfamiliar with both Ruby and Ruby on Rails I thought to give my insight on how it was to get into developing Rails.
The ”Contributing to Ruby on Rails” guide was almost entirely sufficient for a beginner to get started with contributing to Rails with its detailed step-by-step guidance. However, while the guide mentions the various means of contributing to the project it could suggest for new contributors to direct their efforts where it’s mostly needed. While I myself set out to solve bugs in the Issue tracker, because I thought that would contribute most to Rails, I later realized the ratio between the number of open Issues and Pull requests on Github. With this one might argue that testing suggested patches might be the best contribution effort, and something that could be mentioned in the contribution guide.
In addition to this, the various different communication channels for Rails such as the mailing list, irc and Slack is great for new contributors to use for any questions that might arise. However, only the mailing list is mentioned in the contributor guide which could be amended.
All in all, in general I had a really easy time getting into Rail’s development environment and a good time doing so. The process is streamlined and simple enough using the rails-dev-box.
It's really cool that a university course assigns such a task, sometimes universities are totally out of touch with the world outside, so congrats on that. Thanks very much for contributing to Rails, and for sharing your experience with us.
It's good to know that the contributing guide and the rails-dev-box provided a clear path and easy dev environment setup for you. They have precisely that goal, and positive feedback is as valuable, because it provides confirmation. Thanks for including that in your email.
We've applied your suggestion about testing patches here: