Getting started with Open Source contributions can be a daunting task, but there are many projects that are just waiting for contributors to help out with, regardless of skill level.


Hag is a game a few friends and I started working on for a class project. I actually enjoy playing the game despite its simplicity, so I add to it somewhat frequently. This year a small number of people have made contributions, which are greatly appreciated.

Because it is written in C, and even follows an ancient standard of C, and because it is meant to run on linux, it might not seem the most accessible. However, there are actually some issues that can be done without ever compiling the game, without even understanding a line of C!

The README file kind of sucks. We would love someone to fix up some typos, or better yet, give the game a better backstory. This issue covers that. You can work on this without ever cloning the repository, and without knowing anything about C.

Speaking of story, this issue would be a good fit for anyone who can write better than awfully. Basically, every time you go down a ladder it prints out the corresponding line from a file. At the moment, these lines are bland and the game would feel much more polished if these were updated.

RoboViking LEDs

I have a repo set up for the LED controllers I have given FRC Team 2607. You can find it here. If anyone is familiar with Arduino and would like to contribute new LED patterns, feel free to make a pull request. That is, if you want a pattern for St. Patrick’s Day, feel free to code up an Irish flag scrolling by, and make a pull request. I even have a blog post meant to aid in developing LED patterns.

Also welcome are any functions related to making it easier to make other patterns. For example, at the moment there are no functions to perform tasks like setting every color on the strip to one single color. Functions like this would make designing more patterns easier and would be appreciated.

Random Old Java Apps

I have a two old Java projects I would like to be able to run again. I have absolutely no idea what the state of these two projects is, but would appreciate someone porting them to a more modern Java IDE from the current NetBeans. If anyone wants to take a stab at it, there is one here and another here.

The latter even has a useless files directory. I’d be happy with a PR just removing those files…

Random Blog Work

Another issue requiring no programming work is this one. To summarize, I have a drawing game where players have to draw a given word. The list of words at the moment was stolen from another game, which is bad. Basically, I just need somebody to find me a list of words such that the entire list is copyright free and each individual word is something that can be drawn appropriately.

I also have a note taking program I call notre. The list of keywords it recognizes is pretty small, so it shouldn’t be hard for someone to add more. The issue is here.


This one requires some actual programming, but a project I have found easy to contribute to in the past is this one. There are a number of self contained issues that are easy to work with - some of which already have proposed solutions just waiting to be turned into pull requests.


If there are any other projects you know about, feel free to write a pull request for my blog itself and add them here! This blog post is at this url.

Tags: GitHub Digital Ocean
Part of a series on For fun.

Leave a comment below! For issues with this website itself, please describe the problem to issues at johnwesthoff dot com.
For urgent questions or comments, shoot me an email (address provided on my GitHub profile).