By krabhishek on Jan 30, 2008
Students who wish to contribute first need to find an ongoing project in their area of interest and if none exists, they are always welcome to start. If you wish to contribute to a particular project, like OpenSolaris, Netbeans, MySQL etc, you can always join the mailing lists at the websites of these projects and get to know what is going on. Every open source project has a website where the details and ongoing work is listed. They also maintain a list of TO-DOs where you can get to know what work you can do. In the TO-DO, you can find work right from developing a device driver, to writing a simple help file. And there is no contribution which is not credited. Every bit of contribution to the community has its value. At universities, we have many opportunities open to our students who wish to make it big in this age of participation. For example, GLOSS - the open source community at my university, has been working towards popularizing open source amongst the students and providing them technical support and learning so that they can sharpen their skills and contribute to the communities of their interest. Programs like OpenFoundry, offered by GLOSS enable students to get themselves introduced to international open source communities and work under guided mentorship of industry engineers!
Second avenue to the success in this arena is by participating in competitions like Code for freedom. Winners of such high profile competitions get immediate spotlight in the community. There is plenty of support provided by the organizers of these competitions and they are the best place for the amateurs to start.
Companies like Sun always look for the popular contributors of the communities to recruit for the high profile jobs in their organization. You shouldn’t be surprised if you get to know about 20 odd year guys earning hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in these companies. Invariably these guys would have started their career as open source contributors.
Opportunities always existed in this world. The go-getters always made best out of everything. Winners and icons of today are what they are because they could see the opportunity and knew how best they could make use of it, when others failed to notice. Today we stand a better chance than the icons of yesterdays because opportunities were never this apparent and open. Giving concrete shape to your ambition and hunger for making it big is very simple! With a bit of determination and desire to work a little more than what is asked for is all what you would need to earn yourself a place amongst the “DIFFERENTS”! At universities like mine (SASTRA University, INDIA), which enjoys lots of support from open source giants like Sun and where we already have a vibrant open source community, becoming an open source champ is very simple. If your university still has no rocking Open Source community, what are you waiting for?? Just hit the roads yourself and take the lead! Form one community yourself and pool your friends in.. What will be left after that for you to do is to “PARTICIPATE!”!!