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I'm mostly a linux user but I'm lacking of advanced programming skills and I would to make projects to make linux a little better, what do you recommand me to do ?

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closed as off topic by Gnoupi Jul 15 '10 at 13:56

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Doesn't this question belong to StackOverflow? –  Tom Wijsman Jul 14 '10 at 22:52
This question is related to project management. It is outside the scope of Super User. The question in itself is good. We just don't really have a place for it on these sites, for now. –  Gnoupi Jul 15 '10 at 13:56
I still think that this falls under Stack Overflow, the programmers there are experieced enough to answer this question and it does relate to programming. He states 'without programming skills' but does also state 'make linux a little better' which denotes he wants to program and wants to start an open source application for Linux. –  Tom Wijsman Jul 16 '10 at 18:44
@Tom - my comment and closing was after asking the opinion from a SO moderator. According to them, it would get closed on SO too. –  Gnoupi Jul 16 '10 at 23:19
Okay, my mistake... :-) –  Tom Wijsman Jul 17 '10 at 1:24

4 Answers 4

You can't start an open source project, defined as a programming project, without doing any programming. There are many ways to help Linux improve, without programming. You can help look for bugs, write documentation, test beta software, help look for bugs in third-party software, the list goes on and on.

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Is there a way that I could bring programmers to code some useful programs to help the linux community ? –  zillion Jul 14 '10 at 21:32
@zillion - Unless your idea is truly revolutionary no one is going to do any programming for you (or the community). Most programmers have more ideas than time to implement them. –  Nifle Jul 14 '10 at 22:45

My first guess would be: Brush up your programming skills!

Let's think for a moment: Open Source is about some source for something (code - most times) that's open (more or less, depending on the license).

Maybe you can help the community by reporting bugs and testing features of existing projects?

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Sometimes you can push a free software project a bit forward without any programming skills. All what you need to do is to make a little donation.

There are cases when programmers who write free software temporary don't have a main job, but need a small amount of money to survive. Sometimes they are happy to work on that free software instead of going to seriously hunt for a boring job which will pay better. This is a normal situation for young people who don't have kids to take care of.

Just make sure that you choose a piece of software that is useful and important for you on a daily basis. This way you won't have a sad feeling of throwing money for nothing, will get a better app for you, will support the programmer and will contribute a bit to a better experience for the whole community.

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You don't need programming skills. It's slow, very slow, without them though. It's important to be responsive in whatever area you do have skills in. Be clear about what you can and can't do. Most of all, make sure you solve a real problem, scratch a real itch, and one that you yourself experience. Learn to program as you go, there is awesome support out there. Oh, and one final thing: don't choose a dead language! (cough VB6 cough)

I'm not much of a developer and have an open source project. I borrowed code from someone else which was in the public domain and more or less abandoned, put up a website with some help docs, a bug & feature tracker, source code control, a mailing list and put together some minor scripts to make installing a little bit easier.

After four years or so I have had release files downloaded a little over 12 thousand times, 87 tickets filed, and few hundred requests by email for help. I have had 1 person join me in a collaborator role and a handful of others contribute significant but small help, mostly documentation or tutorials. On average I have less than 5 interactions a month with people about this project. So, it's working a little bit, but modest to be sure.

So the website is a success, help & documentation likewise, however the code part is a failure. It's frustrating and energy draining to have to tell people again and again, "yes I can duplicate your issue, it's a real problem, but I can't fix it and there's no one else around here who can.". The only reason I haven't dropped it is because every so often someone says "thank you so much for workaround X!" in all caps.

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