Looking to contribute to software (unpaid)


I’m looking to contribute to the development of software that supports social projects and/or local businesses/coops that are doing the same. I wonder if anyone here has any ideas, or knows of a previously compiled list of projects looking for contributions (opensource or otherwise)? Primarily JS/TS fullstack, ruby, php, bit of python for tensorflow or tooling, also arduino/c/c++ for embedded systems but not professionally.

Thanks for your time and any help you can provide.


Hi Luke,

  1. Wow! I run such a project. In the early stages at the moment, but would be up for a chat if it’s a good match for what you’re looking for. It’s a chat application for worker organising, more details on it here
  2. If that isn’t a good example of what you’re looking for, here’s a list of opportunities you could check out: https://twitter.com/RealSocialCoder

Hope this helps!

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Come and join the Etherpad Foundation on Discord :slight_smile:

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^ I would definitely echo @johnyma22 on that, Etherpad is a fantastic tool and the community is great.

Related, I’m actually working on a project that utilizes Etherpad.

The intention is creating a collaboration workflow/tool to serve local community projects — particularly those which involve numerous stakeholders and a high level of coordination.

Here’s a demo, and here’s the repo

The vision is essentially:

  • People can select their neighborhood and create projects in their neighborhood

  • That creates a record in the database for the project, which enables others to find it, as well as a public collaboration space for the project (in the form of a unique Etherpad) — giving all the interested stakeholders a digital, collaborative place to work together and take the action forward

I currently have an Etherpad instance running, so the main areas I’m looking for help are:

  • Connecting the web application to the Etherpad instance via API (NodeJS)

  • Upgrading the backend from Google Sheet to a more accessible database

If that sounds interesting @lb0, I’d love to work with you! (My background is more UX/design and HTML/CSS/JS, and I’m running into some obstacles with NodeJS)

Hi Luke!

I’ve recently developed in my spare time a web portal named TecnoAgora that helps discover that kind of projects. There users can share Open Source projects that want to address social issues. Also, each project view has a tab where you can find the current GitHub open issues so it’s easy to find where you can help. Note that although TecnoAgora is available in English, users can share projects in other languages but you will find that all project’s repository are in English so I hope is not a problem.

Btw if you want to contribute to TecnoAgora you can do it as it is Open Source too, you can check the code here. Another way to help this project is sharing other projects you know so feel free if you want :).

Hope this helps although I know it has only few projects!

You should get paid! Good luck!

Civic tech communities, specifically civic tech “hacknights” are a great social collider for civic-minded citizens and public servants (not just technologists). And now that we’re in pandemic, they’re all accessible from anywhere. They def struggle to get the right vibe without being in-person, but at least you know you’re getting the same first-class experience that everyone else is, and it matters to improve that experience for all :slight_smile:

Civic Tech Sweden is nice. A friend from my own social good infatuation project (Polis) will be sharing at the next one:
Fredagsfika kl 15 varje vecka! ☕️ Fika 3 pm every Friday! - Online - Civic Tech Sweden

Hi Luke,
If you want to learn ClojureScript, maybe you can help me and I’ll be happy to work with you closely and teach what I know.
I’m developing an online editor for a SCADA system, volunteering in an Israeli coop called CrystalVision

Its not a social tool, but the projects we work on are in my eyes meaningful: agriculture,aquaculture environmental-research, med-tech.
The project is interesting in my eyes, and I believe it’s a cool learning experience.

Hey :slight_smile: I can throw in a project dear to my heart → karrot = democratic community organising platform - when organising a community group on WhatsApp/Facebook gets too chaotic and you want a tool that reflects your needs and values better.

It’s currently focused on food saving projects, mostly in Europe, but expanding wider soon - think community gardens, bike kitchens, mutual aid groups, etc. We have a strong solidarity not charity focus.

Money in or out of the project is on an ability/needs basis (currently pretty minimal).

It’s open source (of course!) and code contributions and more info are over at github.com/yunity/karrot-frontend, or for a more theoretical introduction you could read our NordiCHI 2020 Sharing workshop submission [pdf] (accepted!).

Sounds good :wink:


Amazing! Many more responses than I was expecting and some exciting projects. Looking forward to having a look this weekend. Thanks again everyone for your time. Hope this is useful to others too.