How You Can Contribute To Thunderbird Without Knowing How To Code
Thunderbird and K-9 Mail are both open-source software projects. That means anyone can contribute to them, improve them, and make them better products. But how does one contribute? You must need some programming skills, right? No! Do you want to learn how to help make a big difference in the global Thunderbird community, without knowing a single line of code? We have a few ideas to share.
Our friend Dustin Krysak, a contributor to Ubuntu Budgie and a customer solutions engineer at Sysdig, brilliantly compares a software project to a construction job:
“Programming is the carpenter, but you still need the architects, designers, project managers, and permit people to make a construction job come together.”Dustin Krysak
Similarly, making an open-source project like Thunderbird requires an entire community! We need the talents of programmers, graphic designers, translators, writers, financial supporters, enthusiastic fans, quality assurance helpers, bug hunters, & beta testers.
Even if you just have an idea to share, you can make a difference!
No matter what your skill set is, you can absolutely help make Thunderbird better than ever. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Join The Support Crew
Are you an experienced Thunderbird user who knows the software inside and out? Maybe you want to pay it forward and volunteer some time to help new users! We even have a private discussion group for our support crew to help each other, so they can better support Thunderbird users.
To get involved: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/tb-support-crew
Want to help improve Thunderbird by simply using it? Testing is a great way to #contribute and requires no prior experience! Help us catch those bugs before they get loose!
Here’s all the info you need to get started with testing: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Testing
Let’s Go Bug Hunting
Speaking of bugs, capturing and reporting Thunderbird bugs is really important. It’s invaluable! And you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of helping MILLIONS of other users avoid that bug in the future!
We use Mozilla’s Bugzilla, a very powerful tool: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/
We want the entire world to use Thunderbird, which is why it’s currently available in more than 60 languages. If you’re a wordsmith who understands multiple languages, you can aid in our ongoing translation efforts for translating various Thunderbird web pages.
Join 100 other contributors who help translate Thunderbird websites! https://pontoon.mozilla.org/projects/thunderbirdnet/
Document All The Things
Know what else is important? Documentation! From beginner tutorials to technical guides, there’s always a need for helpful information to be written down and easily found.
There are many ways you can contribute to Thunderbird documentation. Start here: https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/get-involved/#documentation
Financial contributions are another way to help. Thunderbird is both free and freedom respecting, but we’re also completely funded by donations!
Year after year, the generosity of our donors makes it possible for Thunderbird to thrive. You can contribute a one-time or recurring monthly donation at give.thunderbird.net.
Sharing Is Caring
Do you share our tweets, Fediverse posts, or Facebook messages? Do you tell your friends and colleagues about Thunderbird? Then yes, you are contributing!
Word of mouth and community promotions are yet another key ingredient to the success of Thunderbird, and any open source project.
Enthusiasm is contagious. Keep sharing ❤️
If you DO have coding skills there are so many ways to help! One of those ways is adding new functionality and designs to Thunderbird with Extensions and Themes!
Here’s what you need to know about making add-ons for Thunderbird: https://developer.thunderbird.net/add-ons/about-add-ons
Last but certainly not least, we’re always looking for contributions to Thunderbird itself from the talented FOSS developer community!
Our Developer Hub has everything you need to start hacking away on Thunderbird: https://developer.thunderbird.net
K-9 Mail and Thunderbird Mobile
Last but certainly not least, there’s the newest member of the Thunderbird family, K-9 Mail. As we work towards bringing Thunderbird to Android, contributions are encouraged! Find out how you can help the K-9 Mail team here: https://k9mail.app/contribute
We can’t wait to see the many important ways you’ll contribute to Thunderbird. If you have questions about it, leave a comment on this post or ask us on social media.