How to contribute to OSArch
If you're reading this page, you see value in what the OSArch community is doing, and would like to contribute yourself. You might not be sure where to begin, or might be worried that you might not know any coding ... but don't worry! Everybody can make a difference.
Welcome to OSArch! You will be part of a growing international effort to provide a free software ecosystem for the built environment. We're a community, coming from many backgrounds and disciplines, from many different tools. Pick a topic you're interested in, and most importantly, have fun and learn something new!
Join the community
The very first thing to do is to join the OSArch community. Sign up, and create a new post saying hello. We're about people first. Anytime you feel uncertain, reach out in the community forums. We might not be able to help, but we will try, and that's what matters.
Use some free software!
Did you know that there are more than 100 free software packages out there related to the AEC industry? Check out the AEC Free Software directory and see if any catch your fancy. Try them out! Try to substitute parts of your daily work with free software, and see how you go. Free software is still very new in the AEC industry, and many concepts will be foreign and you might even need to re-learn things you thought you knew, like how to do 3D modeling or how BIM data is actually organised ... but it's worth it! You will discover a new world, and everything begins from first trying something new. Not sure where to begin? Try learn Blender or FreeCAD.
When you try something new, share your journey on the community forums! Everybody starts somewhere, and everybody is happy to help you on your journey.
Once you've gotten your feet wet, let's see what else you can do.
There will be stumbling blocks when trying out new things. The most important thing to do is to report them as an issue. You won't find support staff who tell you to restart your computer - instead you'll find the developers directly responsible for building software reading your issues, and they will fix it and improve it for the next time. Developers love to hear about bugs!
It won't only be about bugs! Part of making a great user experience is to listen to the ideas of users. If you have a suggestion on how to change the software to improve things, especially if your idea is highly specific and implementable, there is a high chance that it'll happen.
As OSArch is a community who use a wide variety of software, you may need to find the right place to report issues. This is often in the individual project's bug tracking system. If you're unsure, just post in the OSArch community forums, and we can help direct it to the right place.
Help promote OSArch and bring free software to the AEC industry by sharing about it on social media! The more people talking, the more people joining, the more people joining, the more people contributing. The more people contribute, the better it is for the entire industry!
If you speak more than one language, help translate interesting content from one language to another. This way, we ensure that the entire world is included in the OSArch initiative.
Documentation, user guides, and how-tos
Know how to code? Let's get coding!