Help Wanted

There are many ways you can support the Open Lighting Project, we’re a friendly group of people, and by joining the community you’ll meet other like minded individuals and learn a lot. Don’t be put off if it seems overwhelming at first, remember, everyone has to start somewhere.

Some areas we need help with only require a few minutes of your time and there are many that don’t involve programming. The more help we have with the non-technical areas, the more time our development team has to add new features to the software.  If you’d like to take the lead on one of these areas please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We’ve broken the areas down into small (< one hour), extended ( > 1 hour ) and resource contributions.

Small Contributions

Tell a Friend (1 Minute)

Tell a friend about the Open Lighting Project and what we do. Help us spread the word about the project both face to face or on social media.

Report A Bug or Request a Feature (5 minutes)

Have you found a problem with one of our products, or do you have an idea that would make your life easier ? Considering opening a feature request or posting to the mailing list.

Answer a Question (5 minutes)

If you’re experienced in lighting control and know how to use OLA, consider helping our new users who ask questions on the mailing list and IRC. Often by trying to answer questions

Test a Release (30 minutes)

Before each new release of OLA, we’ll email the mailing list and ask people to test it. By spending half an hour testing the new code you can be sure that it works for your application and help us catch bugs before the software is released.

Extended Contributions


Even though we’re not a commercial entity, we need help with producing material to promote the project and the software we produce. Such material includes:

  • Flyers we distribute at conferences
  • The monthly Open Lighting Project Newsletter.
  • Giving a talk on the Open Lighting Project at your local Theater Group or Hackerspace.
  • Create a video tutorial, showing how to use OLA.

If you have ideas for other material, let us know.

Writing Documentation

If you have a flair for technical writing, we could use your help in improving the documentation. There are two types of documentation:

  • End user focused, for examples, tutorials on how to install, set up and configure OLA
  • Developer focused, which explains how to change the code to add new features, an example is the OLA Developer Documentation. If you start working on developer documentation, before you know it you’ll be modifying the code as well.

Graphic / User Interface Design

We sometimes find ourselves in need of images or advice on color palettes. If you have skills in this area we’d love to hear from you.

Backend Programming (Python / Java / C++ / Go)

If you’d like to contribute code (such as a new plugin, extending an existing feature or adding a brand new one), our preferred method is to fork the repository on GitHub, commit your new code and then open a pull request. We can then review and comment on your code if necessary and merge it in. It will also get checked automatically by Travis Continuous Integration (you will see a message within the pull request showing the status of the Travis tests); hence why we prefer pull requests to other methods such as patch submissions.

When writing code, please read the README.developer file which covers coding style, the code review process and various other guidelines.

If you’re struggling for ideas of what to code, why not take a look at our Summer of Code Ideas page?

Frontend (HTML / CSS / Javascript ) Programming

We use web technologies in both OLA (for the admin interface) and on the site. We’re looking for people to help out with website design and Javascript programming.

Contributing Resources

Run a BuildSlave

If you have a machine that is permanently on and connected to the Internet, consider adding it as a buildslave. This means new code will be tested on the machine, so you can be confident each release of OLA will work on your OS / hardware combination.

Donate Hardware

If you have hardware you’d like to see supported or want to contribute financially please reach out to us on the mailing list. If you do end up donating we’ll list you or your organization on our Supporters page.