What's a Pull Request? (Contributing to Open Source)

Perhaps you've asked for a feature for your favorite open source project and been told to submit a pull request. Well, maybe you're thinking, "What on earth is a pull request!" In this topic, we'll discuss common Git workflows and how you can easily contribute by using GitHub to fork a project, make your own changes to it, and offer them back to the community by submitting a pull request. I’ll also cover how to release your own projects for the community to share. Then you’ll be the one receiving pull requests!

Target audience 

Developers who want to help out with their favorite open source project and one-off libraries alike but don’t know where to start. People who are a little intimidated by GitHub. Anyone who’s ever mucked around in someone else's code and found stuff they could improve.

Assumed knowledge

You’re clever, generous, and willing to work for a greater cause.

Main Points

  • Benefits of the open source model
  • Source control workflows
  • Distributed source control with Git
  • How to give back (by submitting a pull request)
  • Publishing your own code for others to use


Brad Wood