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As noted on the intro page, i am trying to show code is not the only thing you can contribute to FOSS projects.
Code however often makes up the main part of a FOSS project, so it is worth looking at some of the related ways you can help.
I have found FOSS very useful for examining how specifics are (can be) implemented, from different programming language specifics, to library implementation, to just getting some inspiration.
Often cited is the fact that FOSS code is reviewed by many, this maybe true of the larger projects like the kernel,kde etc but I severely doubt all the small FOSS code bases are viewed by more than a few let alone reviewed.

Project Y has a long way to go to add all the features it needs, I can code some of those.

I can knock up a GUI to go with the project X CLI application.

How can I help ?
Explore how to use diff and patch, send the author small patches. read small and manageable with some notes on the patch.
Another area often lacking is the flexibility of the configure/make scripts or simply the portability of the code across architectures.
Offering to help by creating patches resolving bugs or implementing wish list requests is a great way to get started in FOSS development.

Remember FOSS is created by humans not companies and please remember replies may take days, weeks or even months/years.
Don't get discouraged and if all else fails FORK!

also see

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