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Newbies also contribute to open source!

Programmer at work
By Crew crew –, CC0,

As a starter in programming, once one encounters the world of “open source”, it can be daunting, if not impossible to contribute to projects. Of course, you’re just starting out and can barely construct a working program in the language you are currently learning.

So, do I have to wait until I am proficient or an expert in my favourite programming language, before I can contribute to an open source project? How can I be a active in the community, and not an onlooker, from the very start?

Easy. Documentation.

I don’t know about others but from my experience, software documentation is often lacking in quantity and quality. I guess because programmers are focused first and foremost on developing working programs, the documentation, manuals, help files, etc. end up having quite a few mistakes, errors and inconsistencies.

So, if you’re new to programming, you may not be able to immediately submit code to that project, but you can always help to improve the documentation. I assure you, this is one area where you can really really make yourself useful, and distinguish yourself as one who brings some value to the table. ‘Cos the documentation is a very important part of any good project.

So, dig in. Clone that GitHub repository and fix any problems you find in the manual.


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Easily Replace Characters In A String

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Reasons Why You Should Keep Learning C/C++

I found this post interesting. C++ is hard and vast, but the payoff is immense.

How Not To Code


Many beginners and students find C/C++ language hard to master because it requires them to think a lot. There are many language-specific quirks, especially in C++, that give students and programmers a hard time. It also has a steep learning curve and is rarely used in modern application development, which prompts many people to give up learning C/C++. However, even with these challenges, it is important for students to continue learning this programming language. This article highlights reasons why one should keep learning C/C++.

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What a “freak” occurrence taught me about installing R packages

Adventures with R

I was trying to set up a particular Rmarkdown document in such a way that other users on our team, who might not have all the necessary packages installed, could get them automatically.

The first time I tried it out it worked perfectly, but later when I re-knitted the document, this funny window popped up

R package list

I was quite surprised! Oh, what had I done now?

To cut the story short, the answer lies in the R documentation via help('install.packages'):

part documentation for R function

So, argument pkgs (3rd paragraph), when zero-length, is what produced the popup. After installing the missing packages in the first pass of the code I wrote, the vector not_installed was subsequently zero-length. As an example, when one does this…

…our listbox appears.

I therefore decided to throw in a conditional statement to skip the installation step in the event that all required packages are already present:


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Why I decided to become a leader


During one of my first stays in the US I read ‘The rise and fall of the Empires’ by historian Paul Kennedy. This was indeed a superb book. But what I learnt there was also what brought such empires up and down.

What historians have learnt behind the Napoleon story is also the talents of generals and scientists such as Dupleix, Davout, Kleber, Lannes, Lefebvre, Bessières, Champollion, Monge, Berthollet, Fourier and many other ones who have made it possible.

When seeing such a sum of talents and incredible people among the Empire leaders, I had no hesitation, I wanted to help this Empire grow, make it big and fun and build great achievements alltogether.

  1. GREAT LEADERS : I have realized along playing the Empire EK game how brilliant and thorough were many of my new friends, who have taught me so much. And they are both reactive…

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