Please Help - Solving ISSUES on GitHub

So I totally just read this amazing article on how to find issues to solve on GitHub… And I’ve found some repos that I am very interested in.

However, upon actually looking at the issues, the “I don’t know where the hell to start” thought keeps hitting my mind, and frankly I feel overwhelmed. Like I literally have not seen one “newbie issue” or issue marked even for beginners that I even remotely feel comfortable solving (aside from something completely worthless like correcting a typo in the readme lol)… Because I don’t know the codebases…

Can you please give me your best advice/strategies for this?

It has nothing to do with knowledge of the language, but when you are trying to solve an issue on a 500-file-large repo that you are completely unfamiliar with… It kinda overwhelms you.

Is this the kinda thing where I need to hang on the issues forums for a few weeks, play with the app, and learn the codebase slowly? Or is it something I should be able to do right away? Obviously, this varies by project but the vast majority of projects that Im into are quite sizeable.

Plus, I’m not really even familiar with some of the requirements and conventions to even contribute to half of them… The requirements for contributions alone can be overwhelming.

But at the same time, I’m ready to take on a project big time… I’ve spent 4 months now working my rear end off, and I have a pretty deep understanding of object-oriented programming, mainly in .NET/C#… But the language isn’t really the issue.

Incidentally, this same feeling pops up when looking at legacy code in a company, so this is a great thing to get used to now. I don’t think there’s very advanced strategies here, but I could also just be a moron. It’s like you said,

I need to hang on the issues forums for a few weeks, play with the app, and learn the codebase slowly

Clone the repo, get it running, and then start figuring out how it works. You could take a look at a present issue and see if you can figure out where the problem is and what causes it. You could start breaking other things to see the effect. You could think of a simple addition you’d like to make - anything at all, from a cosmetic change to the way it handles an HTTP response to plugging a new option into the menu. I agree it’s overwhelming, though. Everything is, in the beginning.

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@PortableStick @P1xt thank you both for the excellent ideas. As silly as this sounds, this has been quite a wall, and surprised I didn’t think of doing FCC’s back-end programs in .NET… I hadn’t even looked at them.

I’m going to do both of these pieces of advice… I just submitted an issue on a sweet project I found, and I’m going to be stepping through another…

At the same time, I might do that URL switcher back-end project and a few others. Could definitely do it with Web API 2.