How to Contribute to Rust Packages

Are you interested in contributing to the thriving Rust community? One great way to get involved is by contributing to Rust packages. These packages are the backbone of the Rust ecosystem, enabling developers to build complex applications and systems. By contributing to Rust packages, you'll be able to give back to the community while honing your skills as a Rust developer.

So, how can you contribute to Rust packages? In this article, we'll cover the basics of package contributions and provide some tips on how to get started.

Understanding Rust Packages

Before diving into how to contribute to Rust packages, it's important to understand what packages are and how they work.

Rust packages are collections of code that can be shared and reused by other Rust developers. They typically consist of modules, functions, and structs that can be imported into other projects using Rust's package manager, Cargo.

Packages are hosted on the Rust package registry, This is a community-run repository that hosts thousands of Rust packages that have been uploaded by developers from all around the world.

When you contribute to a package, you're essentially helping to improve its functionality, fix bugs, and add new features. It's a great way to get involved in the Rust community and help to build better tools for everyone.

Finding Packages to Contribute To

The first step in contributing to Rust packages is to find a project that you're interested in working on. There are thousands of packages available on the Rust package registry, so there's bound to be something that catches your eye.

One tactic for finding packages to contribute to is to look for packages that are marked as "help wanted" on the Rust package registry. This means that the package owner is actively looking for contributions and is open to community involvement.

Another way to find packages to contribute to is to think about your own needs as a Rust developer. Is there a package that you use frequently that you think could be improved? Is there a package that you need but that doesn't exist yet? These are great starting points for finding projects to contribute to.

Getting Started with Contributions

Once you've found a package that you're interested in contributing to, it's time to get started. The first step is to familiarize yourself with the package's codebase.

You'll need to clone the repository onto your local machine and install any dependencies required for testing or building the project. You'll also want to read through the package's documentation and get a sense of how the code is organized.

Once you're comfortable with the codebase, you can start looking for issues to work on. You may want to start with small or simple issues, such as fixing typos in the documentation or improving error handling in a single function.

When working on issues, it's important to communicate with the package owner and other contributors. You can do this by opening a pull request and discussing your proposed changes with others. This can help to ensure that your changes are aligned with the package's goals and best practices.

Tips for Effective Contributions

Contributing to Rust packages can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it can also be challenging. Here are some tips for making your contributions as effective as possible:

Understand the package's goals

Before making any changes to a package, it's important to understand its goals and intended use cases. This will help you to make changes that are aligned with the package's purpose and that don't introduce unnecessary complexity.

Read the documentation

The package's documentation can be a valuable resource when making contributions. It can help you to understand how the package is intended to be used and can provide guidance on best practices and coding conventions.

Write tests

Tests are an important part of any Rust package. When making contributions, be sure to write tests to ensure that your changes don't introduce new bugs or regressions.

Follow style and formatting guidelines

Most Rust packages have style and formatting guidelines that contributors are expected to follow. Be sure to read and follow these guidelines to minimize conflicts and make your contributions easier to review.

Communicate with other contributors

When working on a package, be sure to communicate with other contributors and the package owner. This can help to ensure that your changes are aligned with the package's goals and best practices.


Contributing to Rust packages is a great way to get involved in the Rust community and make a difference in the development of Rust tools and applications. By finding packages to contribute to, understanding their goals, and working collaboratively with other developers, you can help to build a better Rust ecosystem for everyone.

So why not get started today? With thousands of packages available on the Rust package registry, there's never been a better time to get involved. Happy contributing!

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Written by AI researcher, Haskell Ruska, PhD ( Scientific Journal of AI 2023, Peer Reviewed