Hello everyone, I am a Mechatronic Engineering student interested in robotics (manipulation), so I’m currently learning ROS but I wonder how can I contribute, because I’m new to the open source world and I also feel like I don’t have enough knowledge to make good contributions to the community.
Just keep your eyes open. If you have trouble with something, then try to update the wiki (if there is one) or make a pull request to improve the documentation. That’s a great way to start.
Eventually you’ll find an issue that’s relatively easy to fix and it would be great to make a PR to fix it.
You can also keep an eye on answers.ros.org. After answering a few dozen questions there, my confidence level was much higher and I started to feel like I actually knew what I was doing.
I would look at prior threads on this topic. They are available via the search capability on ROS discourse.
Here are a few discussions that came up right away.
Hi Diego – I work on Foxglove Studio, an open source desktop app for visualizing and debugging robotics data. The app makes inspecting and visualizing your ROS data really easy and seamless, as you won’t have to download multiple ROS packages (like rqt or rviz) for different visualization tasks. Hopefully it can help you as you get up and running on ROS!
As for contributing back, we would love your feedback on the app, especially as a ROS newbie. Our hope is that we’re building Studio to be super intuitive to all roboticists, regardless of experience. Your feedback would keep us honest about whether we’re meeting that goal.
Thanks for the resources and comments, I also want to contribute to ROS after using it for more than a year. As suggested by @AndyZe, I wrote some answers on http://answers.ros.org/ and it really feels good.
@eshu it looks awesome, I will definitely try and give feedback.
PS: [ROS Discourse] Summary brought me here
Nice! I fully agree that answering stuff on ROS Answers is an awesome way to deepen your ROS knowledge. I remember that for some time in 2011-2012, I was really addicted to ROS Answers. I already had about one year of ROS experience at that point, so I could confidently answer some of the questions. But I quickly ran out of unanswered questions that I knew the answer to, so I started tackling questions that I didn’t yet know the answer to (yes, I’m good at procrastinating from my real job). This meant doing some research and testing out some stuff, and in the process, I got a really broad experience with all parts of ROS.
Even though I didn’t do it for this reason, I noticed afterwards that all my time spent on ROS Answers gave me a lot of experience in knowing which parts of ROS actual users commonly struggle with. Also, I got a good overview of all the packages that are available for ROS, and I got to broaden my horizons. I gained so much experience doing this that I’ve quickly become the guy that my colleagues come to if they have a ROS question.
You don’t usually get this kind of experience any other way, because if you just focus on writing code, you quickly pass through the learning stages (which makes it hard to emphasize with newbies) and are also narrowly focused on a small section of the ROS universe (which often leads to reinventing the wheel or missing a potential elegant solution).