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Open source java projects where beginners can hope to contribute ?

 
Ranch Hand
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I see a lot of open source (OS) projects around, big and small, famous and obscure. I want to get real world experience. I want an OS where I can contribute without having to know or learn too many things at once, initially.
So, how do I choose an OS project that is simple and where there could be room for beginners ?

I see some big projects, they have too many things that you need to know - GIT, SVN, Ant, Maven, Several API's etc. I need a project with a list of minimum prerequisites.

 
Rancher
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I think that's unrealistic. Distributed teams need a common infrastructure on which to base their effort - a source code control system, a build system and a ticket system are about as fundamental for that as you can get. You will need to learn how to use those anyway for your career; why not start now?

As to how to choose a project: I generally advise to choose one which you have used already (so that you know it well), and which you like, and in which there are things you would like to see improved. Working on an OSS requires commitment and effort over some time; it's more likely that you stay engaged if you care about the project and use it yourself.
 
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