Help! I'm Not A Developer!

If you're not a developer, but you want to find other ways to contribute, have no fear! We've got you covered.

For the NRE Labs project as a whole, putting everything in Git is central to the spirit of the project. “Curriculum as Code” is part of what makes NRE Labs tick - instead of storing the curriculum behind closed doors, it's published for all to not only see, but also contribute to.

We've taken this idea and extended it to all aspects of the project, not just the curriculum, or the technical bits of the Antidote platform. Everything we do is represented in a GitHub repository somewhere under the nre-learning org. For example:

  • The NRE Labs Website and Blog is powered by a static site generator called Hugo, which takes simple Markdown files located in our nre-blog repo and renders them automatically into static HTML pages. This makes the blog much easier to manage, while also allowing folks to contribute without having to be web developers.

  • All of the documentation you're reading here is sourced from a GitHub repository as well, and rendered into this nice view by a service called GitBook. It is also written in Markdown. If you want to contribute to these docs, you can either open a pull request to this repository, or get in touch with us, and we may be able to work something else out.

  • Our governance and technical planning docs are written in Markdown and added as Pull Requests to the proposals repository. Not only does this allow anyone to easily contribute to these, but this public model means all can participate in their formation. Pull Requests here are open to all to review at any time.

The end result of this is a model that is public and open to all by default. No matter what you're talking about, whether core platform software, or blogs on the latest developments in the world of DevOps and NRE, it's all done on GitHub.

That said - it might be easy to assume that you have to have a developer skill-set in order to work with GitHub. Not so! You just need some tools and a little knowledge about plaintext formatting languages, which are outlined below.

What You Need

First, you need to install two things on your computer:

  • A decent text editor. I recommend VSCode - it's free, simple enough while still being robust, and includes support for the things we will want to use it for.

  • The Github client. This is also cross-platform, and gives you the benefits of Github without having to do anything on the command-line.

Next, as all of the above projects use Markdown as a simple plaintext formatting language, you really should spend some time understanding it.

Finally, the guide on NRE Labs Git repositories will cover how we use Git and GitHub, and will contain links to other learning resources if you're new to Git.

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