We Just Contributed Code to MinneBar. Here’s Why & How.

I feel eternally-grateful to all the people who plan free and inexpensive events. Having served on the planning committees for multiple WordCamps, WordUps, Meetups, and User Groups, I can empathize with the good, bad, and weird of event planning. As my family and work commitments have grown over the years, my ability to contribute to my community consistently has decreased. I went from planning and leading all sorts of local events to planning and contributing here and there, where my schedule and energy permit. That’s why I’m so excited to have been able to contribute some basic css code to the Minnebar website this morning! Below I describe how I did it.

I Noticed Something I Wanted to Improve (and had the skills to contribute!)

While previewing sessions at Minnebar a couple of days ago I saw an opportunity to contribute to an amazing event in a way I had never done before: through code. Specifically, I noticed that the mobile view of the Minnebar Sessions page was difficult to navigate with my fat fingers. It looked like this:

Looks and works GREAT on desktop but not on mobile (image courtesy of https://ready.mobi/

How We Reached Out to the Minnebar Team

The Minnestar team is known around town as one of the most-friendly and most-competent groups of volunteers, but even so, I still had some internal trepidation about reaching out to them with an idea – mainly due to my lack of confidence in my coding abilities. But alas, all that anxiety was put to rest from the first interaction! They were supportive and friendly and even invited me to the Slack channel specific to the suggestion I was making.

Once I got the green light from the Minnestar team, I asked a few questions and learned the code base is on Github. From there, I searched the codebase for the specific div element I wanted to edit (“grid_6”), found the code, and then…Oh crap! I don’t know how to submit a pull request to someone else’s project in Github! Thankfully, Github makes this SUPER easy – they have a button for that! Of course they do – bless them! I didn’t actually need to do any pulling or pushing of code – just a few clicks in the browser and I was off to the races!

From there, I posted a link to my Github pull request to the Minnestar Slack channel, and they promised to review it.

I Contribute As Best I Can

While my endless energy + days & nights of contributing to my community are a thing of the past/future, I am happy to be able to contribute this little bit to a community of people I care a great deal about.

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Toby Cryns

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