|I've been on HN a lot of years and I have wondered how you get involved in open source projects as a non-coder. I've also spoken with other non-coders looking to get involved who felt just as stymied as I did.|
Yesterday, I submitted a pull request to correct a typo in the documentation of a open source project. I first spent a lot of time digging through stuff to figure out what I should do (pull request? submit an issue? something else?). A pull request seemed to be the right answer, but I was hesitant to do that for various reasons -- partly because in my mind that's for updating code -- and when I have asked around, no one has ever told me "Oh, you can get involved as a non-coder by submitting a pull request to correct a typo."
When non-coders say things like "Who do I talk with?" or talk about cultural barriers, people try to be nice and assure us "We aren't all hateful to non-coders. Come join our email list for this thing!" And it's the wrong answer.
The correct answer is "None of that matters. You can submit a pull request if you find a typo or other small issue and that's the best way for a non-coder to get involved. It's small. There's no one to talk to. There's no email list to join. Just submit the pull request. They will either approve it and merge it with the master or they won't and no one will bite your head off about it. And now you are contributing to open source. Voila!"
If you want non-coders to get involved in updating your documentation and so forth, you need to find some way to let them know that "All you have to do is submit a pull request." The current approach misdirects people like me into trying to "make connections" to people and all this garbage that is completely irrelevant, counterproductive and a waste of time. It actively interferes with answering the question of "Where do I start?"
You start with a pull request for something small, like a typo. Done. Now you are "a contributor."