Becoming an Ansible Contributor: How to Contribute and Shape the Future of Automation


Automation has become an essential part of modern-day IT operations. It enables organizations to manage their infrastructure effectively and efficiently, reducing manual intervention and human error. Ansible is one such automation tool that has rapidly gained popularity in recent years due to its simplicity, flexibility, and ease of use.

Ansible is an open-source automation tool that allows users to automate a wide range of IT tasks, from configuration management to deployment. It uses a push-based model where users define the desired state of their infrastructure in code and then apply these changes across multiple systems simultaneously.

Explanation of Ansible and its importance in automation

Ansible provides a simple way for users to automate repetitive tasks so they can focus on more critical work. It has become an essential tool for many organizations because it simplifies complex IT workflows, reduces errors, improves efficiency, and increases productivity. Unlike other automation tools that require agents or daemons installed on target hosts, Ansible relies on SSH access over standard network ports for communication between the control machine (where the user runs the playbook) and target hosts (where changes are applied).

This makes it easy for users to start automating their IT environment without having to install any additional software or change any firewall rules. Furthermore, Ansible’s declarative language allows users to define desired states rather than procedural steps which makes it easy for beginners as well as experts.

Importance of contributing to open source projects like Ansible

Open source projects like Ansible rely heavily on contributors from all over the world who volunteer time and effort towards making these tools better. Contributing not only benefits the community but also provides opportunities for personal growth by working with other experts in the field.

Contributing can take many forms such as submitting bug reports, fixing issues, writing new features or plugins, writing documentation or helping with community outreach. It provides a platform for sharing knowledge and collaborating with others towards a common goal.

Moreover, contributing to open source projects like Ansible is an excellent way to showcase your skills to potential employers and gain visibility in the community. Many companies actively seek out contributors to open source projects since it demonstrates their commitment to the field and showcases their skills.

Getting Started with Contributing to Ansible

An Overview of the Ansible Community and its Resources

The Ansible community is a vast network of developers, system administrators, and enthusiasts from around the world. The community is an open and collaborative space that encourages participation and contribution from anyone interested in automation.

Contributing to Ansible means joining this community and becoming a part of its ongoing efforts to improve the tool. In addition to its talented contributors, the Ansible community also offers various resources for those who want to get involved.

The official website provides information on how to contribute, including guidance on code standards, testing, documentation, and more. There are also discussion forums where contributors can interact with each other, share ideas and ask for assistance when needed.

Setting up a Development Environment for Ansible

To contribute code changes to Ansible you will need to set up a development environment on your local machine. This involves installing Git version control software which helps manage code changes across different contributors.

You will also need Python version 2 or 3 installed since this is the programming language used by Ansible. Once you have Git installed on your system you can clone the repository for Ansible core so that you have access to all of its components locally.

This allows you can make modifications without affecting production systems using the tool. Additionally, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with relevant tools such as virtual machines or containerization technologies like Docker as these are often used in testing changes before submitting them.

Finding Issues to Work On and Contributing Code

As a contributor just getting started with contributing code changes, it’s important that you start by working on small issues rather than attempting large ones at first. Finding small issues ensures that your contributions do not interfere with existing functionality while allowing you to learn more about how things work without causing unintended consequences.

To find issues to work on, you can do a search on the Ansible repository for ones that are tagged as “easy” or “newbie-friendly.” These issues provide a good starting point for new contributors. When contributing code, it’s crucial to follow established guidelines and standards set by the community.

Contributions should be well-documented with useful comments that explain why changes were made, and all code must be tested before being submitted. By following these steps and contributing to the Ansible community, you not only improve your skills but also become an integral part of shaping the future of automation.

The Core of Ansible: Understanding and Contributing

Understanding the architecture of Ansible core components

Understanding the architecture of Ansible is an essential aspect of contributing to the core components. The core consists of several components, including modules, plugins, inventory, and playbooks.

Each component plays a critical role in automating various tasks. Before contributing to any component, it is essential to understand how each component works independently and how they work together.

Modules are the building blocks for automation in Ansible. They are used by playbooks and ad hoc commands to operate on hosts in an infrastructure.

Plugins extend the functionality of core modules with additional features like caching or custom logging. Inventory helps organize hosts into groups and makes them available for automation tasks while Playbooks define what needs to be done on which host(s) in a particular order.

Contributing code to the core components

Once you understand how Ansible’s core components work together, it’s time to start contributing code changes. To contribute code changes, you need first to identify issues that need fixing or features that need adding. You can find open issues on Github under the “Issues” tab on the ansible/ansible repository.

To contribute code changes, you need first to fork this repository into your account; this will create a copy that only you can access. You then clone this forked repository onto your machine and make changes locally within your working environment using a text editor or Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Once your code change is complete, you commit it with a detailed message describing what was changed and push it back up to your forked repository. Submit a Pull Request (PR) back into ansible/ansible from your forked repository so that other contributors can review it before merging it back into mainline development.

Reviewing pull requests and participating in discussions

One of the most critical aspects of contributing to Ansible is participating in discussions and reviewing pull requests. As a contributor, your code changes will be reviewed by other contributors, so it’s crucial to be open to feedback and willing to make any necessary changes.

Reviewing other contributors’ pull requests is also essential for improving Ansible quality as a whole. If you see something that could be improved or that you disagree with, engage in the discussion as this can lead to better solutions in the long run.

Participating in discussions around issues or design decisions can also help shape the future of automation by providing valuable feedback for the Ansible community. This is why contributing code and reviewing others’ work are both essential components of becoming an Ansible Contributor.

Contributing to Modules in Ansible

Overview of Modules in Ansible

Modules are the building blocks of an Ansible playbook. They are reusable components that abstract away the underlying system tasks, allowing users to focus on defining the desired state of their infrastructure.

There are hundreds of modules available for a wide range of technologies and platforms, including cloud providers, network devices, databases, and more. As an Ansible contributor, you can help improve existing modules or create new ones to fill gaps in the current offerings.

Before starting any module work, it’s essential to review the existing modules for similar functionality and identify areas for improvement or innovation. Also, contributing to popular modules can have a significant impact on the wider community and increase your visibility as a contributor.

Writing New Modules or Improving Existing Ones

To write or improve modules in Ansible requires intermediate-level programming skills in Python and an understanding of how Ansible works under-the-hood. The module development guide provides detailed instructions on creating new modules or enhancing existing ones with additional functionality.

One strategy is to start by identifying inefficiencies in your current infrastructure deployment that could be solved with a custom module. This ensures that you are working on something relevant while gaining experience creating a new module from scratch.

To improve existing modules, first fork the repository containing the module you want to modify and make changes on your local environment branch before pushing them back up to GitHub. It’s important when modifying existing modules not to break backward compatibility with previous versions unless there is specific justification for doing so.

Submitting Module Changes for Review

After creating or improving a module, it’s time to submit changes for review by other contributors within the community via pull requests (PRs). First ensure your code adheres to standard conventions such as pep8 style guidelines using flake8 testing. When submitting a PR, be sure to include clear and concise descriptions of the changes made and why they are necessary.

In case of new module creation, provide documentation explaining how it should be used, tested, and any dependencies required. Your contribution will go through a review process consisting of code review and testing by other contributors who may suggest improvements.

It is important to respond to feedback promptly and make changes as necessary until the module is ready for approval. Once approved, your contribution will be merged into the Ansible codebase, becoming available to millions of users worldwide.

Best Practices for Contributing to Ansible

Following Community Guidelines and Standards: The Key to Smooth Collaboration

To be a successful contributor, it is crucial to understand and follow the community guidelines and standards established by the Ansible project. This ensures that your contributions are accepted, and you’re able to participate in discussions with other contributors effectively.

Reading through the documentation, participating in community forums, and attending online meetups helps you stay up-to-date on the latest developments in Ansible. The Ansible community values inclusivity, diversity, respect for others’ opinions, and clear communication.

Hence, all contributors should abide by these principles when interacting with other members of the community. Following these guidelines fosters a culture of cooperation among contributors since everyone knows what is expected of them.

Testing Your Contributions Thoroughly Before Submitting Them

Testing your code is an essential part of contributing to any open source project. The Ansible project has rigorous testing procedures that ensure code works as expected before it can be merged into the core or modules repository.

Hence testing your changes thoroughly saves time for both yourself and other contributors since they do not have to review code that does not work as expected. Ansible provides several tools for testing contributions like tox or molecule.

These tools enable you to test your changes locally before submitting them for review. It is crucial to ensure that you write tests alongside your code changes so that reviewers can verify if everything works correctly.

Communicating Effectively with Other Contributors

Communication is key when contributing to open source projects like Ansible because it fosters collaboration among contributors working towards a common goal. Effective communication includes providing clear descriptions of issues encountered, collaborating with others on pull requests or issues management systems like GitHub, asking questions when unsure about something, being receptive to feedback from other contributors. Collaborating on Github with other contributors is essential to ensure everyone understands what changes are being made and why they were made.

Being clear about your intentions when making contributions helps others understand your thought process, making it easier for them to provide feedback. Following community guidelines and standards, testing changes thoroughly before submitting them, and communicating effectively with other contributors are all critical best practices when contributing to Ansible.

These practices help keep the project organized while fostering a culture of cooperation among its members. By following these best practices, you can be confident that your contributions will be well-received by the Ansible community.


Contributing to open-source projects like Ansible is an excellent way to shape the future of automation. Ansible offers an extensive community and resources for contributors to learn, grow and contribute to its development. This article has provided a comprehensive guide on how to become an Ansible contributor.

Summary of Key Points Covered in the Article

We began by providing a brief overview of what Ansible is and its importance in automation. Next, we looked at how to get started with contributing to Ansible, including setting up a development environment and finding issues to work on.

We then delved into contributing code both to the core components of Ansible as well as creating new modules or improving existing ones. We outlined some best practices for contributors such as following community guidelines and standards and testing contributions thoroughly before submission.

The Importance of Contributing to Open-Source Projects Like Ansible

The importance of contributing cannot be overemphasized. Contributions help advance technology by introducing new features, fixing bugs, improving documentation or even adding support for different platforms or operating systems.

By contributing open-source technologies like Ansible, you are not only helping improve the technology but also giving back to the community at large. You will be working alongside other talented developers worldwide who share a passion for technology and want it to thrive.

In closing, becoming an Ansible contributor is not only beneficial but also rewarding. We encourage all readers who are passionate about automation technology or writing code in general, regardless of skill level or experience, to consider joining the vibrant community striving towards making automation more accessible through open source contributions like those made possible with Ansible.

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