Any suggestions on open source project i can contribute to or begin on my own? Nothing complicated - am just a beginner and would like to improve my knowledge.

daviddoria - Many thanks...

Browsing sourceforge.net, first hit of google - wasnt too sure so i thought i ask the experts here for suggestion(s).

First off, well done for thinking about contributing to OSS [Open source software].

Personally, I think the best way to get a project is to actually look at your secondary skills and interests. Almost everyone involved in OSS is actual able to program. The skill level is surprisingly high. The reason is that when you code is public, if you submit poor code/good ideas, it gets re-written, and when you see the re-write, you already know the algorithm, so you can quickly follow it. That raises the skill level, faster than college courses and faster than a closed shop coding, were "that it work/passes unit tests" is often the level of extent [Not always I know!]

The first route in is very difficult, in my opinion, that is do the documentation of a project, building up to the code and then bug fixes and then contributing. All of that is do able but the time that it take to feel that you are contributing is SO long. What happens [in practice], is that before you figure out what is going on, the bug that you are looking at, got fixed by someone who "just made number of changes", and you end up chasing yesterdays ghosts, or you actually patch a bug, but the bug really was a symptom of a much bigger problem and should have been dealt with by refactoring a section.

So if you are a beginner programmer, there is a second way in, that is to look at your additional skills, can you play music, are you an expert on paleontology, you might be a cricket coach. I don't know, I have almost never met anyone who doesn't have some highly specialized skill(s). Then start with those projects, particularly those projects in the programming language/area that you wish to learn. Remember that MOST projects have very very few contributers [often only one], so it will take a bit of looking at the code, running the program, and asking intelligent questions [in that order, please]. Orphan projects are often a good place as well, since what really happens in the original developer, got a job, family etc, is often prepared to answer a few emails but can't spend 20 hours a week on it -- However, I think your coding skills have to be better if you go this way.

The only other thing is the everyone, who has/is contributed/(ing) to an open souce project, seems to have a different way in. Try one, if it doesn't work, out try a different one, with a different approach. They all are different!

First off, well done for thinking about contributing to OSS [Open source software].

Personally, I think the best way to get a project is to actually look at your secondary skills and interests. ......................

Nice I like it. Hey lets write a program that takes all the variables you just mentioned ( skill level, secondary skill, number of contributors, etc.) and place them in an algorithm that calculates someones best way in to the OSS rhelm!!

Common.. I'll start

#includes <iostream>; //futurewebdev's contribution!

Thanks for the insight stuXYZ.

daviddoria - found a project on sourceforge and surprisingly the project owner is actually helpful and willing to teach me as long as i want to learn.

Awesome - you won't always find that, so you got very lucky! Definitely take advantage of this opportunity!

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