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Stylex: A Contributor’s Story with Hammad Khalid

December 14, 2021ByNavyata Bawa

In A Contributor’s Story series, our major open source contributors and community members give us insight into the projects they are working on, the successes and challenges contributors face when developing, and best practices for getting started in open source. For today’s blog post, we have Hammad Khalid, a Stylex contributor working on issues and code efficiency through the MLH Fellowship. Let’s learn from them how we can start contributing to Stylex.

“I am excited each day to work on such an amazing and impactful project, Stylex, and work with passionate Fellows to grow together.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am a software engineer without a traditional background in Computer Science. I got interested in software during the pandemic and decided to pursue it. I went to a coding bootcamp called App Academy. During my time at App Academy, not only did I learn to code, I worked with a diverse group of talented people, and together we built some amazing projects. After graduating from App Academy, I applied and got into the MLH Fellowship program, while in the job hunt. This led me to work on an amazing Meta project. It has been a tough, but exciting journey so far, and I can't wait to learn and grow more.

What excites you to work on open source?

Open source projects are used by millions of people daily. To be able to contribute to a project that helps people in day-to-day life is an amazing thing, and that's what really excites me about open source.

What project are you working on currently?

Currently, I am working on a project by Meta called Stylex. Stylex is a minimal runtime CSS library. You have the ability to write your CSS in your JS files, and do not have to worry about scoping issues.

How did you first learn about this project? What steps did you take to start working on this project?

I first learned about the project through the MLH Fellowship and thought it was really cool and interesting. We were asked to list a few projects we would be interested in working on, and Stylex was on my list. I got picked to work on the project and within a week or two, we actually started our work to contribute to the project.

Did you face any challenges or roadblocks along the way? How did you go about solving them?

The biggest challenge for me at first was learning the data flow and flow of logic within the project. I want to give a huge shoutout to Naman Goel from Meta, Arsalan Dilawar from MLH, and everyone else who helped me learn and overcome this challenge.

What resources did you find most helpful when working on your project?

The most helpful resource to me so far has been Naman Goel from Meta, who is the maintainer of Stylex. He has helped us out so much by giving us an in depth tour of the project, explaining the smallest things, and being easy to reach out and talk to.

Google and StackOverflow are always there for little bugs here and there.

What is the current status of development for this project?

I have made a pull request for a feature/extra functionality we wanted to add to the project. I am working on my next feature, and am really excited to contribute more.

Reflecting on the work that you did, what did you learn about the project, process of development and open source as a whole?

I learned that the work we are doing with Stylex has a great impact, more than I originally thought, and is very rewarding to do. The process of development has a good flow. We used to have weekly meetings to discuss what we have been working on, where we need help, and what we have completed. After building a feature, we would move on to the next feature. The thing that I loved most was how helpful everyone was during the whole process.

What is the best takeaway you have from working on this project and open source in general?

The biggest takeaway for me has been realizing the true power and scale for open source by working on my project, Stylex. Before working on this amazing project and contributing, I had little knowledge of open source. By working on the project, I came to discover the true potential of how beneficial contributing to open source projects can be.

What advice would you give to future contributors to the open source projects?

I would recommend others to contribute to as many open source projects as possible. It is very rewarding and has a huge impact. There are people ready to help you all the time, and of course, there is Google and Stackoverflow.

We would like to thank Hammad for taking time to share their experiences with us. It was very interesting to learn about the process of contributing to open source and we would like to thank Hammad for their continuous contributions to the Meta Open Source ecosystem. If you’re interested to learn more about Hammad’s work, follow them on LinkedIn and GitHub.

About A Contributor’s Story series

Open source at Meta is about more than just code. It's also about facilitating environments where collaborators from all backgrounds and experiences can come together to discuss ideas, foster innovation, and work on projects together.

This blog is a part of A Contributor’s Story series where we hear from various contributors about their experiences contributing to the open source projects under the Meta Open Source ecosystem, how to get started, the challenges and successes faced when developing, and what excites them about open source. Look out for more blogs from A Contributor’s Story series where we learn about various other open source projects and how to start contributing to them.

To learn more about Meta Open Source, visit our open source site, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.