There was a query on Javaranch regarding participating in Open Source projects and I made an attempt to provide somewhat elaborate reply to it. I thought of putting up the reply on my blog as well and may be update it further for the help of others.
Participating in Open Source projects would take a lot of effort and dedication. Its because one has to:
- understand how the code works,
- play around with it,
- explore the documentation,
- understand the code and not get bogged down by the volume of code
- be active on the mailing list,
- go through the bug list to see if something you can fix,
- submit a patch for the bug, hope it gets accepted,
- repeat 6-7 until core members of the project start recognizing you and possibly trust you with the permission to directly merge the fixes to the codebase.