Open source software powers the internet. Anyone using a computer uses open source, either directly or indirectly. Although it has become the industry standard, getting involved isn’t always straightforward.

Because so much of the open source community works with GitHub, we’re working to make it easier for people to start and contribute to open source projects. This year we’ve documented best practices with our Open Source Guides, released our balanced employee IP agreement which eases employee contributions, and provided insight into the state of the community with the Open Source Survey.

Now we’re inviting you to join our latest effort to make it easier to contribute to the open source community: Open Source Friday.

Open Source Friday

Open Source Friday is a structured program for contributing to open source. Contribution to open source is part of our DNA with GitHub employees maintaining projects like gh-ost, Rails, Atom, Homebrew, HospitalRun and Exercism. Over the last three years, we’ve encouraged GitHub employees to take time at least every fourth Friday to work on open source and share what we’re working on with each other. Open Source Friday has grown from this into a program anyone can take part in.

Open Source Friday isn’t limited to individuals. Your team, department, or company can take part, too. Contributing to the software you already use isn’t altruistic—it’s an investment in the tools your company relies on. And you can always start small: spend two hours every Friday working on an open source project relevant to your business.

Whether you’re an aspiring contributor or active maintainer of open source software, we help you track and share your Friday contributions. We also provide a framework for regular contribution, along with resources to help you convince your employers to join in.

Open Source Friday businesses

Join our friends at Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Comcast, Travis CI, and thoughtbot, who believe that contributing to open source should be part of their developers’ work.

Thank you @andrew, @Charlotteis, @maxcell, @benpolinsky, and @stevelacy for helping us build this project! Want to help improve Open Source Friday? The app is open source, so head over to ossfriday/ossfriday to submit a pull request.