Notes from 24 Pull Requests event

See notes and further research prompts below in relation to yesterday’s 24 Pull Requests event. It was organised by Codebar, Ladies Who Code, and Your First PR, sponsored by Gitter, Shutl, and Twitter. I left Twitter HQ with my brain fizzing, always a good thing.


Check out Sonic Pi, a “free live coding synth for everyone originally designed to support computing and music lessons within schools”.

The @yourfirstpr Twitter feed by @charlotteis is solid stuff, a well-curated stream of projects and issues that are suitable for open source beginners. Also, just try searching for open issues w/ the “help wanted” label in GitHub.

See libraries.io, the “Open Source Discovery Service”; also firstpr.me to see various people’s first pull requests. 24 Pull Requests creator Andrew Nesbitt @teabass works on both projects/services.

Had a lot of help from Jon Kelly @jkbits1 as my coach. Mainly, we were working on issue #32 from the Forkability repo. We were looking for a suitable JS issue to work with, and I’m glad that Andrew suggested that project. It was perfect for the topic of the day, and the maintainers Daniel Hough and Mordechai Zuber are so welcoming/friendly.

We got pretty far with the issue and I learned a ton of other bits. I usually use Git via Tower. It’s great software, but we worked on my command line Git skills since I’ve wanted to improve for some time. Further Git tips were volunteered by Andrew, including info on staging partial file changes (i.e. “hunks”, read more on interactive staging). Still need to set up SSH keys so I don’t have to keep entering my GitHub username/password combo.

Jon also introduced me to debugging JavaScript with breakpoints in the Chrome inspector. Don’t know how on earth I’ve got along without that so far. I’ve got very little experience writing or using test scripts, so he also explained a bit about TDD vs BDD. Read a little more here, see also “red/green/refactor” pattern and JS testing frameworks Mocha and Jasmine. He also briefly mentioned Node School which I hadn’t come across before, it’s worth looking in to…

Before leaving, I asked Andrew if he had any recommended projects or APIs in relation to tracking emotion via social media (see previous research on this topic). He mentioned Emojitracker and sentiment analysis tools that harness the Twitter API. Streamcrab might be promising.

Though I didn’t end up submitting a pull request during the event, I’m definitely going to keep working on it. Need to carve out some time, hopefully this week.