Kendall Nelson shares the value, steps to contributing upstream and other ways you can get involved.

Kendall Nelson, an upstream developer advocate at the OpenStack Foundation, spoke with SuperuserTV at the OpenStack Summit Barcelona about why contributing upstream is important, how you can get involved and other ways to contribute if Python isn’t your thing.

Everything that is not proprietary to a certain company is created upstream, Nelson says. To encourage contribution and train new developers, the Foundation started Upstream University a few cycles ago. Upstream University is a two-day training before the Summit begins to share knowledge about the different ways of contributing to OpenStack. In Barcelona, 60 people attended, an attendance that Nelson hopes to increase by collaborating with co-worker Ildikó Vansca.

Nelson tapped her personal experience for some advice on people who want to get started, but are unable to attend Upstream University. To get started contributing to Cinder, she did code reviews and attended weekly meetings. Even if you don’t have something to contribute immediately, looking at the code is a good start, she says.

Besides code, Nelson welcomes the community to get involved in Documentation, User Groups and Working Groups where help is always needed.

To learn more about getting started, check out Nelson’s interview on SuperuserTV.