Contributing to Open Source in Quality Assurance

Did you know you can contribute to Open Source with Quality Assurance? Usually while building software, there is some component of quality assurance or testing involved, so that also applies to open source projects. When I think of quality assurance of a project I think of testing in general, which includes writing unit tests, integration tests, manual testing, performance testing, documenting test scenarios, …

Contributing to Quality Assurance (QA) helps to ensure the overall quality of the project since it can help to detect bugs early and faults in how the feature was implemented.

Ways to contribute

So here are some examples of how to contribute to Quality Assurance of an open source project:

Resources to learn more about Quality Assurance

There are 2 resources that come to my mind with regards to learning more about Quality Assurance.

I would love to know more resources, so if you know more, let me know :)

Process at Open Source community

When working on my Google Summer of Code project back in 2018, I tried to come with ways for other open source contributors, to contribute to the project by testing it. I asked for help in the community for people to test the application and report bugs found by creating issues. Here’s an example of a bug reported where user registration was possible by sending empty values for certain required fields.

When contributing to Open Data Kit, I noticed that maintainers had a step while reviewing code, of verifying if my change was working on multiple Android versions. This inspired me to incorporate such steps in our community as well. These days at Open Source we have this step as part of our Open Source workflow, in particular of the Pull Request lifecycle.

Our work related to QA includes:

As per our experience in the community, people who were joining us were mostly interested in contributing as a developer, but eventually got interested and helped with this type of contribution. By learning how to test a project, you also learn how the project works. This can be an easy path to start contributing and getting familiar with the project and its codebase.

A huge thank you to Roshni Pattath who has been an advocate and mentor for quality assurance within the Open Source community. I’ve learned so much from her. Also for helping me review this post.

If you are interested in contributing this way, we have plenty of work you could do in our community. You can check out GitHub and also join our Zulip!