The impact of open-source contributions on technical interviews

Are you struggling to pass technical interviews? Do you dream of working at FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) or other top tech companies? If so, you might want to consider contributing to open-source projects.

Open-source contributions are a great way to showcase your skills, learn new technologies, and network with other developers. But did you know that they can also improve your chances of landing a job at a tech company? In this article, we will explore the impact of open-source contributions on technical interviews.

What are open-source contributions?

Open-source contributions refer to the act of contributing to open-source projects, which are software projects that are developed and maintained by a community of developers. Open-source projects are usually hosted on platforms like GitHub or GitLab, and anyone can contribute to them by submitting bug reports, fixing bugs, adding features, writing documentation, or helping with code reviews.

Open-source contributions are voluntary and unpaid, but they offer many benefits to developers, such as:

How do open-source contributions affect technical interviews?

Technical interviews are an essential part of the hiring process at tech companies. They usually consist of coding challenges, algorithmic questions, system design exercises, or behavioral interviews. Technical interviews aim to assess the candidate's technical skills, problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and cultural fit.

Open-source contributions can influence technical interviews in several ways:

1. They demonstrate practical experience

One way that open-source contributions can impact technical interviews is by providing evidence of the candidate's practical experience. When a candidate lists their open-source contributions on their resume or online profile, they show that they have worked on real-world projects, collaborated with other developers, and contributed to the larger developer community.

This practical experience can give the candidate an edge over other candidates who only have theoretical knowledge or academic experience. By demonstrating that they have solved real problems, fixed bugs, or implemented features in a production environment, the candidate can show that they have the skills and mindset of a productive developer.

2. They showcase coding skills

Another way that open-source contributions can impact technical interviews is by showcasing the candidate's coding skills. When a candidate contributes to open-source projects, they have to follow the project's coding standards, conventions, and guidelines. They have to write clean, readable, maintainable, and tested code that meets the project's requirements.

By reviewing a candidate's open-source contributions, interviewers can get a sense of their coding style, quality, and efficiency. They can see how the candidate tackles problems, implements features, handles edge cases, and writes documentation. They can also evaluate the candidate's ability to work with version control systems, such as Git, and collaborate with others using pull requests, code reviews, or issue trackers.

3. They foster learning and growth

A third way that open-source contributions can impact technical interviews is by fostering learning and growth. When a candidate contributes to open-source projects, they expose themselves to different programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and tools. They encounter new challenges, bugs, and edge cases that force them to think creatively and critically.

By working on open-source projects, contributors can also receive feedback from other developers, learn from their mistakes, and improve their skills. They can leverage the wisdom of the crowd to find solutions to complex problems, get exposure to new ideas and best practices, and get inspired by the creativity and innovation of other contributors.

4. They signal passion and commitment

A fourth way that open-source contributions can impact technical interviews is by signaling passion and commitment. When a candidate contributes to open-source projects, they show that they are passionate about coding, curious about new technologies, and committed to their craft. They demonstrate that they are not satisfied with just learning what is required for school or work, but they are always seeking ways to improve and innovate.

By contributing to open-source projects, candidates can build a reputation within the developer community as someone who is knowledgeable, helpful, and trustworthy. They can establish their personal brand as a thought leader, a mentor, or a contributor to a specific niche or community. By doing so, they can attract the attention of recruiters, hiring managers, or fellow developers who might refer them to job opportunities or collaborate with them on future projects.

How to get started with open-source contributions?

If you are convinced that open-source contributions can impact your technical interviews positively, you might wonder how to get started with them. Here are some tips:

1. Identify your interests and strengths

The first step to getting started with open-source contributions is to identify your interests and strengths. Think about what programming languages, frameworks, or tools you enjoy working with. Consider what type of projects or problems you are passionate about solving.

By identifying your interests and strengths, you can narrow down your search for open-source projects that align with your goals and preferences. You can also choose projects that need contributors with your skills and expertise.

2. Start small and build up

The second step to getting started with open-source contributions is to start small and build up. Don't try to contribute to a massive project right away, as it might be overwhelming and discourage you.

Instead, look for small issues or bugs that need to be fixed, or simple features that can be added. Focus on code quality, readability, and testing. Follow the project's guidelines and conventions, and seek feedback from other contributors or maintainers.

As you gain confidence and experience, you can take on more challenging tasks, such as implementing complex features, optimizing performance, or solving architectural problems.

3. Join communities and network

The third step to getting started with open-source contributions is to join communities and network. Look for online forums, chat rooms, or meetups that focus on open-source projects, or specific programming languages or frameworks. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and share your knowledge and experience.

By networking with other developers, you can find mentors, collaborators, or potential employers. You can learn from their experiences, get feedback on your work, and contribute to their projects as well.

4. Be consistent and persistent

The fourth step to getting started with open-source contributions is to be consistent and persistent. Don't expect to get hired immediately after submitting a few patches or pull requests.

Open-source contributions require patience, perseverance, and dedication. You might encounter setbacks, rejections, or conflicts, but don't give up. Keep learning, improving, and contributing to open-source projects as much as possible.

By being consistent and persistent, you demonstrate your commitment to the developer community, your passion for coding, and your willingness to learn and grow.


In conclusion, open-source contributions can have a positive impact on technical interviews. By contributing to open-source projects, developers can demonstrate their practical experience, showcase their coding skills, foster learning and growth, and signal passion and commitment.

If you want to get started with open-source contributions, start by identifying your interests and strengths, starting small and building up, joining communities and networking, and being consistent and persistent.

At, we provide resources, tips, and guidance for passing technical interviews at FANG and other top tech companies. Stay tuned for more articles, podcasts, and courses that can help you achieve your dream job in the tech industry.

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