People have asked me this question already a few times over Facebook. They usually ask: “What project can I contribute to?” And the logical counter question is: “What Open Source projects do you regularly use?” And then they usually reply: “I don’t know.” or “I don’t”.
In my opinion it only makes sense to participate in Open Source projects, if you actively use them. Otherwise, how else would you know the project? How do you know what bugs are there and where to fix them? …
So my tip is to start using Open Source.
And I also recommend small projects for the beginning. If you ask one of the main maintainers of GCC some trivial question, I’ll doubth that he will answer you. They are too busy doing actual work, and already have a few good students.
Just keep your eyes open and try new things. There are small Open Source projects everywhere you look. For instance:
- Do you use an editor that supports plugins? Try using a few. If you like one, that is very helpful for you on a daily basis, then consider improving something. Report a bug, if you see one. Even in projects you don’t enjoy. Maybe you like the idea, but the implementation is bad and it works only half the time. It’s your time to shine.
- Keey your eyes open in other places: I usually see multiple Open Source projects every day, just by browsing Reddit. I’ve subsribed to r/programming, r/cpp, … People always post interesting projects there.