As my career has evolved over the past 10 years, I’ve come to appreciate the value of collaborative ideas and solutions more than ever. From my early days in software development and QA, into helpdesk, administrator, and architect roles, I’ve seen the best results in every field when we’ve worked closely together to solve problems. Today, it’s become more apparent than ever that mass collaboration is going to be the innovation model that carries us into the future. New challenges pop up faster than they ever have, and I’m increasingly relying on others to help me solve these challenges, as they are relying on me. As a result, I’ve felt the need to become more and more involved with technology and relationships as these have proven key to fostering our joint success.
Getting involved with technology and people is one of the most instrinsically rewarding things I’ve done in my career. It feels great helping others succeed! I urge everyone to think about your value in the equation (whatever contribution it may be) and what you can do for other people. Doesn’t the thought excite you? Motivate you? Inspire you? Here’s a couple things that I’ve collected along my way that have helped me understand how I can contribute to others, and what it really means to be working together in the open source world:
http://opensource.com/resources/what-open-source – First of all, what is open source? What is free software?
http://openhatch.org/ – Open Hatch matches prospective free software contributors with communities, tools, and education. This is a fantastic resource to help you get started contributing to open source projects. You don’t need to be a developer, or have high technical skill, you just need to be eager to apply yourself somewhere.
http://open-advice.org/ – Open Advice is a collection of things & experiences that first time FOSS contributors wish they knew when they first started.
If you’re thinking about getting involved and contributing to open source, I urge you to have a read and get started!