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Inside The First-timer’s Journey from 0 to 500 Stars on GitHub

Hello readers!!! It’s been a while since I last published due to hectic schedule. I am writing this article in a plane going on a business trip. Today, I am writing about my experience with open source community and GitHub and how my one android library got 500 stars in few days.

GitHub and Me

Before I talk about GitHub, I want you to know a little about my background. I am a hardcore developer and programmer and have worked in various technologies including Flash AS2/AS3, Unity3D, Android, iOS, PHP etc. I have been programming for last 8 years now. And my specialization lies in android native apps development.

In all these years, I have created a lot of apps and games. But I never created anything open source. My GitHub was big zero. My laptop’s Work folder got like 100 of sub-folders filled with completed and non complete projects. I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or bad. But I think it was a whole lot better if some of that code was on GitHub.

A Glimpse of ‘My Projects’ Directory in My Laptop (look at the scrollbar size)

Motivation behind my first library

Recently, I got in touch with a guy from USA. His name is Tim Tennyson. I am helping him learn android development. On our first session, he showed me his progress in android. He was working on a chess game in android as a learning project. It was available on GitHub. He showed me that code. I saw many stars, forks, issues, commits etc. It was truly amazing and inspiring.

The only thing came into my mind at that time was that I have created so much stuff in all these years and not a single line of my code is available on GitHub. And this guy, who is just starting to learn, he is doing it all in public. And this motivated me to open source my work and share with others. > # A very special thanks to this great guy, Tim!!! Cheers!!!

Then I didn’t thought too much and I grabbed my most quick and easy piece of code which needed a little work and polishing. I wrapped it in a separate android module. Learned to publish on jcenter and gradle from here. Created read me file and published it on The Android Arsenal and MaterialUp websites. Unfortunately, MaterialUp rejected it but Android Arsenal approved it. It was a very good feeling seeing other developers all around world use your code and appreciate you.

Getting 500 stars

My first library DBFlowManager couldn’t get much stars but I was happy. And at that time, I was working on project which required flipping flash cards like word on one side and meaning on other side. I had created a custom view for this requirement in my project. I, without thinking much, wrapped that custom view in a separate android module and published it on jcenter. Submitted it to only android arsenal. I didn’t submit it to MaterialUp, because I thought they won’t approve it.

I don’t know what happened and how it happened but I started getting notifications of stars after stars. And forks after forks. And next day, I saw my library on MaterialUp showcased by MaterialUp’s founder Matthieu Aussaguel. > # Thank you very much for showcasing my work, Matthieu Aussaguel… :)

I am still getting stars slowly and this gave me huge boost in my motivation for open source community.

What’s next

After that, I published 1 more library called as EasyMoney-Widgets.

After this library, I got email from MaterialUp telling me that I am now a verified user and my posts will be published instantly without any approval.

The email I received from [MaterialUp](undefined)!

After this email, when I came to office next day, this is what I saw on my desk. And I had to give steak party to all my friends. Yes, I have got some crazy type of friends.

My friends always ask for such kinds of requests by writing on tissue papers. Love you guys!!!

I contributed in another library called as Discrete Slider and created a pull request. This was my first time that I was contributing in some other developer’s code and it felt amazing!

I also implemented a UX experience in Android after getting inspired from UpLabs’s Can You Code this UI series. This was my first time that I was working on animations in android.

I will keep contributing my code to GitHub. It’s a good feeling that your work is being used by other developers. Its a wonderful feeling of being appreciated and being loved by developers all around the world.

[EasyFlipView ](https://github.com/wajahatkarim3/EasyFlipView)library’s downloads on map from [JFrog Bintray](https://bintray.com/) statistics dashboard

Conclusion

If I summarize this whole piece of writing in a single line, that would be: > # Don’t hesitate to push your code to public. You will feel a little shy at start and maybe even embarrassed with your code, but believe me no one is going to criticize you or eat you alive for your bad code. Instead you will learn a lot of new stuff and will improve in coding as well by their direct/indirect feedback.

In next article, I will share you about how to publish libraries on jcenter and create a great Read Me file for Github.

Special Thanks

I would like to thank all these guys who helped me knowingly/unknowingly in developing habit of open source projects.