We’re halfway through the month and I feel this month-long challenge is getting to me – I have realized I need to change up my strategy if I want to work on more challenging and personally fulfilling projects. While I have enjoyed working on whatsmyviewport and live-stream-tools, they were not the sort of projects I originally had in mind when I planned my Hacktoberfest.
I have a terrible habit of working non-stop on a project until it is done, I do it in art, I do it in coding. However, when you have to do work for 6 courses, that mindset means I am always doing work last minute for something. Putting 12 straight hours into one area means I am not putting any work in another.
I need to change how I plan my time so I can give myself time to figure out more complex problems.
But enough about my lack of time management skills, lets discuss this week’s pull request.
This week’s issue allowed me to mix my love of natural languages with my love of contributing in open source projects.
Live-stream-tools is a Brazilian repo geared towards live-stream tools for Twitch. Currently, they want to translate their documents to increase the visibility of their project to a more international audience.
When I was looking for issues, this one caught my eye. While I don’t speak Portuguese, I am fluent in Spanish; these languages have a high mutual intelligibility in their written form, so when I saw it, I knew exactly what they wanted. I took a look at the documentation they had, and I realized it was doable for me to translate the file, there wasn’t much highly specialized language nor false friends that would prevent me from doing a good job.
This is not the first time I have tried to work on a Portuguese repo, during my previous attempt I was afraid of how to approach the task. Should I use google translate to communicate? Even though I can read Portuguese, I cannot write it. Should I write in Spanish? It could be easier for the owner if they didn’t know English. I tried googling if there was an etiquette rule for it, but I found nothing. Eventually, I decided English was probably my best bet.
Turns out I shouldn’t have stressed too much about it, everything turned out ok (kind of. After the issue was assigned to me, someone managed to fix the issue before I got the chance to work on it).
Moral of the story: It doesn’t hurt to try.
I admit, when I first learned that I could use my bilingualism to contribute to open source, I was excited. But it wasn’t until this issue that I was able to do it. Most of the large projects I am interested in are already translated into Spanish, and the small ones looking for translation also are.
Time to hit Duolingo again, I guess.