If you’re a developer, open source projects are likely a staple in your regular workflow. They give users the freedom to take projects and customize as they please, without having to spend a bunch of money on software that doesn’t fully service your needs. Plus, they encourage tons of collaboration and iteration with very few barriers to entry. Not to mention that they’re generally free to utilize!
There are so many exciting projects out there that are making waves. In this article, I’ve compiled a list of open source projects to contribute to in 2021.
Godot is a completely free game engine that has an enormous, passionate base of contributors and users.
It empowers users to create their dream game from the ground up for free. Unlike some other major gaming engines, you pay nothing up front to use their software and you don’t need to pay royalties if you choose to sell your game later.
Godot is a non-profit project and just about all people contributing are working on it in their free time, pro bono. This game engine is truly made for and by its users with a massive community backing.
If this project piques your interest check out the many different ways to contribute.
Haven is a mobile app that turns any android phone into your very own personal surveillance device. This app was designed for human rights activists and journalists in an effort to help give them an additional layer of security.
Leveraging the technology of your phone, Haven uses motion, sound, vibration, and light detection to be your second set of eyes and ears. Haven also integrates technologies like Signal and Tor to protect your privacy.
This project is a necessary tool that could help protect individuals who may be targets of human rights violations or intimidation.
Learn more about the Haven project here.
Child Growth Monitor (CGM) aims to provide quick and accurate data on child malnutrition using machine learning.
Unfortunately, sometimes community leaders and caregivers are not always able to determine severe malnutrition in children. Users can do a quick scan of a child on a smartphone and the tool will utilize data, machine learning, and artificial neural networks to provide a quick way to detect early signs of malnutrition.
Feeling inspired? Check out their contribution guide to in involved.
Igbo is a Nigerian language that is spoken by over 45 million people. Igbo API aims to make the learning of this rich language more accessible to the Nigerian diaspora and anyone who has a genuine interest to learn about the language and culture.
According to Igbo API, it is the first-ever African language API! This robust API gives users access to definitions, usage examples, tone marks, as well as examples of the different variations and dialects of the language. Igbo API does this in part by parsing information from the Columbia University Paper Dictionary of Ònìchà Igbo.
Looking to discover more open source projects? Github is the place to start if you’re on the hunt for a project to support. Each project will have their own guide on how to contribute. If you haven’t contributed before, this guide serves as a fantastic resource to get started. Github also has a list of projects that are great for new contributors.
Finally, I want to stress that you DO NOT need to know how to code in order to contribute to open source projects. As mentioned in Open Source Guides, there are several other areas to contribute if you’d like such as writing documentation, planning workshops, project education, or even designing merch! Anyone looking to get involved can do so. Give it a try.