"Many understand the developmental model used by free
software development groups and GNU/Linux distributions. However,
few understand how to properly get involved. This problem has
perplexed many and reduces the number of individuals who are able
to become involved in free software development and
"The first step before starting in on any project is making
contact with the existing maintainer of the project. Communication
is the key to reducing redundant efforts, ensuring that work isn't
done twice and maximizing the value of the work of individuals.
This step may yield the discovery of a dormant project which needs
help. It may also bring to one's attention that they can join an
effort another person has started. Be sure to evaluate the skills
needed for any undertaking and decide on how to help based upon
those skills. Nearly any undertaking will be a learning
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