Many, if not most, of the people who use open source software aren’t just doing so because it’s free. Lots of us also really love the fact that its a community effort and, more often than not, the developers of your favorite apps are just an IM or email away. Of course, the community also relies on how much its members (to use a worn out expression) are willing to give back.
Do you wish you could help support your favorite projects but can’t code your way out of a paper bag and can’t spare any extra money to donate either? Well, there’s lots of other ways you can help and, thanks to our Help Wanted section, it’s easy to get connected with people who need the skills you do have.
Obviously, there are plenty of projects looking for developers and people who can code in specfic languages. But if gaming is your thing, there are even projects with that specific need. If, however, you’re better with graphic design or 3D modeling, there are several projects looking for you.
Want to test apps before they’re released to the public? Many applications under development need everything from sysadmins to people who just like using Web apps . Some projects need people to write documentation and help pages, translate apps into other languages, or design its UI. If you’ve spent a lot of time helping write code and are ready to lead others, there are even a few teams looking for a project manager.
If, in the end, you just can’t decide how you want to help then just jump in. Email the lead of your favorite app and ask what you can do to support the project. Alternatively, locate one in the community that’s still in the idea phase and let them know you’re available. If you’re looking to help out the open source community but think you don’t have anything to offer, have a look at the Help Wanted section or just ask around. I can pretty much guarantee you won’t be turned away.