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Use More Pull Requests

By Steve Jones,

I noticed a short while back that Books Online is on github. You can fork the code and make corrections to pages and then submit a pull request. This is the model that many OSS projects use, including the amazing DBATools project. That one I really like, and if I was better at PowerShell, I'd contribute. If you're a PoSh whiz, I'd urge you to contribute.

A few years ago I saw a lot of complaints about the SQL Saturday site, and over the years I've also seen a number of complaints about the Pass Summit sites, and the registration process. At one point there was a debate over whether PASS should build a registration system or continue to pay for the service. To me, this was a perfect place to start a project, maybe with a few volunteers, and then crowdsource enhancements and improvements. Get help from the members of this technical community, after all, this is the way most of us make a living.

If Microsoft can get help from outside, I'd expect other organizations could as well. Certainly PASS has limited resources, and this is a great way to perhaps get new ideas, innovate, and grow their system. There will be some friction and loss in reviewing changes, but I'd expect that the overall gain would come from the greater number of people contributing to the software.

We've kicked this around for SQLServerCentral and Database Weekly, and I am hoping to start getting help in enhancing my own site from its community at some point. There are certainly challenges and difficulties in integrating code from lots of sources. DevOps makes this easier, with more automation to evaluate and test code before a human needs to review it. However, DevOps has its own challenges, with extending the culture and process to others, and finding those individuals that want to contribute and buy into the philosophy, not to mention maintaining code quality and standards. However, I hope that you consider using pull requests and getting help from others in your own organization or project.

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