We’re kicking off a series about first patches that became a part of an open source software project, beginning with my own story. With 25 of 50 10uppers – at the time of writing – credited as core contributors to WordPress, credits in a number of other projects, and communities of hundreds of contributors at large, we won’t run out of material any time soon. We hope that these sometimes inspiring and often humbling stories, from one-time contributors all the way up to the most prolific WordPress core developers, will entertain and offer some perspective to open source’s newest would-be contributors. Do you remember your first patch? Tell us how to get ahold of you in the comments, and we just might feature you!
My first committed patch to WordPress was for #17887 in June 2011, just a few months before I joined 10up. I was running trunk in my testing environment to ensure that our live site would upgrade smoothly and to be able to explain the impending 3.2 redesign to our users at the university. In hindsight, my experience is probably typical for first-time contributors, and may surprise those who know me today.