25 ways you can contribute to KDE

In honor of KDE’s impending 25th birthday tomorrow, here are 25 ways you can get involved to help make KDE software the best in the world!

  1. Be kind. Most KDE people are either volunteers, or paid employees who work on KDE stuff far beyond their working hours. These folks put their heart and soul into KDE, and often the most impactful thing you can do is to express appreciation to someone you see going above and beyond the call of duty. Be positive, not negative. KDE is made by people with feelings, like you!
  2. Submit code to fix bugs, implement new features, or improve the accessibility of KDE software!
  3. File a bug report for every problem you encounter! You might be surprised by how many people don’t do this, and assume that KDE’s developers are already aware of your issue. We become aware through bug reports!
  4. Help translate KDE software into your native language!
  5. Volunteer to work on sysadmin stuff. KDE’s sysadmins are always terribly overworked and in need of assistance!
  6. Subtly advocate for FOSS in general and KDE software specifically to the people in your social circle who depend on you for technical advice and support. Don’t be pushy, but make it clear you’re willing to help them migrate once they get sick of Windows, macOS, software that’s riddled with ads or tied to a paid subscription, and proprietary file formats that lock you into one app. Admit it, you’re the nerd who your friends and and family rely on! Your words have power! Use it wisely. πŸ™‚
  7. Work on KDE’s formal promo efforts to get the word out about KDE software!
  8. Donate money to the KDE e.V. to support hiring more employees and paying for development sprints!
  9. Help maintain and expand KDE’s web presence!
  10. Design new icons to fill some of the gaps in the Breeze icon theme!
  11. Help work on the visual design of KDE software!
  12. Purchase FOSS hardware in general, and specifically, hardware with KDE Plasma preinstalled!
  13. Help a local school or small business install a Plasma distro on aging hardware so they don’t need to buy new stuff at high cost!
  14. Start contributing in your distro of choice to help them integrate KDE software better, ship a more appropriate set of default applications, update old themes which have drifted out of sync with what they were forked from, and so on!
  15. Triage bug reports to help developers focus on real issues!
  16. Answer KDE users’ user questions on social media and help people get the most out of KDE software!
  17. Review merge requests in projects you’re familiar with. This is an under-appreciated but very important way to contribute, even if you don’t consider yourself a technical expert. But you can test the changes to see if they work as described, and I bet you can also spot misspellings, obvious code errors, and weird user interfaces that could stand to be improved!
  18. Improve documentation–especially if you used the documentation and found something wanting. The best candidate to fix bad documentation is someone who just read it and found problems with it or didn’t find it as helpful as it would have been!
  19. Help manage stuff. KDE is desperately in need of “big picture people” capable of seeing things from a 10,000 foot view and helping strategically important work move towards completion!
  20. Be nice to other FOSS projects. We may be here for KDE, but GNOME is a good project too. There’s room for more than just one, and in fact healthy competition between projects is a good thing! Do don’t hate on GNOME if you’re a KDE person. They do a lot of things right and they produce quality software. Be a good ambassador!
  21. Start a local KDE user group. You might make some new friends and discover more local users of KDE software than you thought!
  22. Volunteer at your local school or university to teach students about programming or the importance of software freedom–with a KDE tilt, of course! πŸ˜‰
  23. Attend Akademy, KDE’s yearly conference. Eventually it will be an in-person event again, and let me tell you, it’s a lot of fun to spend several days around members of your digital tribe!
  24. Install Plasma on as many of your home devices as possible! Experience more freedom, as well as testing more esoteric use cases. This is valuable because there is only so much hardware the core developers can test again, we rely on our users to provide reports about problems with the full diversity of what’s available out there!
  25. Don’t sweat it if things aren’t perfect–like this list of 25 things that basically ends at 24. πŸ™‚

8 thoughts on “25 ways you can contribute to KDE

  1. “13. Help a local school or small business install a Plasma distro on aging hardware so they don’t need to buy new stuff at high cost!”
    Imagine some PCs from 2008 πŸ˜‰
    Once I had installed Plasma (Manjaro Linux) on a machine with Athlon 64 LE-1600, GeForce GT610, 4GB Ram, HDD 250GB β€” and it was lagging so bad.


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