I am a Java/J2EE developer with about 5 years of work ex and with plenty of free time I've been like this for a over now. I even switched jobs but I remain under utilized no matter where I go I am volunteering for open source projects and am ready to give my 5 cents in Java/J2EE projects where I can help.
Any pointers to places to start for open source projects would be of great help as well!
Yep, I am considering that option as I type. Some of my friends tried that and told me that it is really difficult to contribute to Apache unless you try for 3-4 years. Is that true? If so, are there any other Projects where we can prove our skills and get to contribute soon.
Some of my friends tried that and told me that it is really difficult to contribute to Apache unless you try for 3-4 years.
I doubt that's true. Keep in mind that Apache is an umbrella organization that has LOTS of projects. This may be true for their namesake project, the Apache httpd web server, but I am certain that for many of the Java projects you can become a committer fairly quickly once you start contributing.