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Selecting The Right Open-Source Project in React Ecosystem

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Open source projects provide a unique way to work collaboratively with other people and learn through teamwork. It’s not rocket science, but it’s safe to say that a lot goes into choosing the right open source project in the React ecosystem. 

So, for anyone looking to take up on a challenge and commit, we’ve made it our goal to provide you with useful information on how to choose the right open-source project in React.

Benefits of Contributing to React Open-Source Projects

Before you find out how to choose the right open-source project in the React ecosystem, let’s touch on the benefits and how contributing can help (junior) web developers and UX/UI designers.

As a UI developer who is just starting out, contributing to open-source projects can:

  • Be a great way to get inspired (since it’s a very good javascript library for building user interfaces)
  • Help you learn the best practices of one of the best front end frameworks
  • Improve your skills in a unique way
  • Enable you to experience every stage of a project’s development cycle
  • Be a great networking opportunity and a way to promote yourself
  • A great way to boost up your portfolio

With that being said, let’s talk in more detail about the benefits we’ve mentioned so far.

Get Inspired

React open-source projects can serve as an inspiration to any UX/UI designer working with Merge technology since it fully supports React while being fully integrated with Git and Storybook. It allows you to design with code components and import components from other developers’ Git repositories.

Learn the Best Practices

Learning the best practices related to open-source project participation via proper documentation and an active, helping community could serve as a form of guidance to new and seasoned front-end developers and UX designers.

And on the other hand, best practices are really important when just starting with open-source projects as a contributor in terms of knowing what to do and what not to do, how to properly send pull requests, submit an issue, and more.

Improve Your Skills in a Unique Way

Sharing your knowledge, experience, and code with other people while having them do the same can prove a very unique and effective way of sharpening your skills and learning new things.

Experience the Full Cycle of a Project

The React ecosystem gives you the chance to fully immerse yourself into the development cycle of a project from start to finish. Along with other contributors, you get to experience all the stages of a project, from ideation and prototyping to design, testing and implementation, where collaboration and commitment play a crucial role. 

An Opportunity for Networking & Self-Promoting

Being a part of an active open source community and while connecting with its members can help you develop a reputation, which can, later on, help you get a job, which brings us to the next and last benefit. 

Build a Portfolio

Sometimes an open-source project can be that push in the right direction for your career. So, when applying for a job or looking for a freelance gig, you can always showcase the projects you’ve contributed to. 

That shows potential employers that you’ve been working on real-life projects, provided help, and solved existing problems instead of having just beginner-level tasks and fictional projects in your portfolio.

Regardless of your skill level, React open-source projects can help you develop a diverse portfolio which can, in turn, help you land a job.

Things to Consider When Selecting an Open-Source Project in React 

Selecting the right project can be challenging if you don’t know where to start looking or what deserves your time and effort. However, the rule of thumb when selecting an open-source project is to keep these things in mind:

  • An Active Community 
  • Project Popularity
  • A Well Organized Documentation 

Active Community

Committing to a project with an active community means that there will always be someone willing to help you in case you get stuck. It also means that the project is future-proof in a way, knowing that the developers are willing to carry out the project to completion.

It’s important to be able to discuss the project with someone if a difficult problem appears that needs resolving. Open-source projects with active communities often have a slack or discord channel where they can discuss in more detail, share experiences, communicate, and more. 

On the flip side of things, an active community is important if you decide to use the project’s source code as a dependency for a personal task.

Project Popularity 

If there’s an active community around a certain React open-source project, it’s safe to say that the project has grown in popularity, and you can expect thorough documentation and plenty of help from fellow contributors.

A Well Organized Documentation 

The last piece of the puzzle to consider when selecting an open-source project in the React ecosystem is well-organized documentation that you can reference. Proper documentation will make things easier for you in terms of familiarizing you with the issues the project is currently facing.

How to Get Started With Open-Source Projects

The best React open-source project to contribute to for beginners is one that you can learn the most from while keeping engaged. While for more experienced UI/UX developers, the best open-source project is the one they can contribute the most to.   

Useful Tip: You’ll probably want to look for open-source projects on GitHub since it’s the best platform for developers. Also, when exploring GitHub, make sure you check out how many stars, comments, issues, pull requests, and views from stargazers a project has. Basically, any type of visual clue to help you determine whether it’s a good fit for you, your skills and your time.

Conclusion

So, to recap, contributing to an open-source project can help you improve your skills while expanding your knowledge and learning with the help of a community. It will help you build professional relationships with other people in your area of expertise and might land you a job one day.

It will also provide precious experience in terms of being a part of every stage of a project’s development cycle. Just remember to keep in mind the things we talked about before you commit to a specific project.

Well, we covered the most important aspects of how to choose an open-source project in the React ecosystem. When designing or developing your ideas, you may need a tool that works in harmony with dev tools and libraries. UXPin’s Merge technology is focused on effectively bridging the gap between design and development by making the most out of React code components coming from Git repos or all-framework components from Storybook. These can be synced with our design tool so that designers can reuse code components in different projects while retaining full functionality. And with that, you get the full benefit of smoother handoff and a faster product development process overall.

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