How to make your first pull request on GitHub

Thanoshan MV
7 min readJan 29, 2020

What is forking?

Forking means, when we love someone’s repository, would like to have it in our GitHub account, so that we can work with it separately with the same stuff.

When forking we get an instance of that entire repository with whole history. After forking, we can do whatever we want to do without affecting the core original version.

What is a pull request?

Pull requests are the way to contribute to group projects or open source projects.

For instance, a user Harry forks a repository of ThanoshanMV and makes changes to that repository. Now Harry can make a pull request to ThanoshanMV but it’s up to ThanoshanMV to accept or decline it. It’s like “Would you please, ThanoshanMV pull my changes?”.

What it means to contribute?

Not only we can contribute to an open source project by contributing with code but also we can contribute in many aspects. Some of the aspects are defined below.

As 99xtechnology IT firm’s hacktitude starting guide says, we can contribute to an open-source project in the following ways:

  1. Designing: Reconstruct the layouts of a project to improve its usability, improve project’s navigation and menu based on user research programs, creating art for logos, t-shirts and providing style guides to the project.
  2. Writing: Write and improve the project’s documentation or translate the documentation, start a newsletter for the project or write tutorials for the project and curate highlights from the mailing list or curate a folder of examples showing how the projects are used.
  3. Organizing: Link duplicate issues, suggest new issue labels, suggest to close old open issues and ask questions on recently opened issues to move the discussion forward.
  4. Help others: Answer questions on open issues, review code on other people’s submissions and offer to mentor another contributor.
  5. Coding: Help to solve any open issues, ask if you can provide any new features and improve tooling and testing.

Let’s make our first pull request!