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Antlir: A Contributor’s Story with Gabriel Baiocchi de Sant'Anna

December 21, 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 they face when developing, and best practices for getting started in open source. For today’s blog post, we have Gabriel Baiocchi de Sant'Anna, an Antlir contributor working on issues and code efficiency through the MLH Fellowship. Let’s learn from them how we can start contributing to Antlir.

“This has been my first real opportunity to not only learn new programming skills, but also to work within a team and the open source community at the same time. As a software engineer, I feel I’ve really grown, but it’s the other aspects of the Fellowship that will stick with me most.”

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I'm an undergrad student with a passion for Computer Science.

What excites you to work on open source?

Being able to contribute to projects that will impact many people.

What project are you working on currently?

Antlir, Meta’s file-system image builder.

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

I hadn't heard about the project before being assigned to it for the MLH Fellowship. To get started, we talked to the official maintainers and asked for pointers to good first issues we could work on.

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

Getting the project to work correctly in an open-source context is still a challenge, so setting up a development environment took some time. We used remote machines to ensure we could test our contributions to the project.

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

MLH's open-source training and career advice sessions were very helpful.

What is the current status of development for this project?

Some issues solved, with a bigger sub-project still in progress.

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

I got a taste of the challenges involved with working on big and complex projects, as well as what kind of infrastructure that requires.

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

Having good documentation is very important to help open source contributors get started and contribute to a project.

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

Look for issues you fully understand and can reasonably take on, and avoid trying to bite more than you can chew. Communicating with the project's maintainers definitely helps!

We would like to thank Gabriel 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 Gabriel for their continuous contributions to the Meta Open Source ecosystem. If you’re interested to learn more about Gabriel’s work, follow them on 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.