So I decided to do some more work on the docToolchain open source project over my break. I changed three files and committed those changes against my fork then sent Ralf a message in our slack channel proudly telling him about my work. I knew he would get a notification of the changes but thought I’d message him all the same.
Lucky I did.
Turns out, I’d committed the changes but didn’t create a pull request (PR). Ralf politely encouraged me to create a PR, which I did.
Afterwards, I decided to find out who else might be struggling with PRs, so I googled “pull request anxiety”. I found two articles. One was from Saurabh Daware, a developer based in India who spoke about the fear of mucking up someone’s codebase. Another, from Stacie Weffelmeyer, a web developer (location unknown), described her fear of being overwhelmed by feedback after submitting suggested updates to a project.
My anxiety over PRs is different again. It’s basically the not knowing, the not fully understanding how to use a tool or technology — in this case GitHub. Look, I’ve mastered all sorts of tricky tech in my time. Being a tech writer is more about writing. I manage thousands of content objects in a relational database. I have to know how to prepare and compile content. I need to know basic CSS and HTML in order to customise my publishing platforms. I have to understand how images render on multiple devices. Plus, a whole lot more.
My learning journey might be slow, but it’s steady. I’m getting there. And with the help of people like Ralf and others, I know I will master GitHub and docs-as-code too.