There are many motivations for why volunteers participate in an open source project like OpenOffice. Some of the more common ones include:
You don't need to be a programmer to contribute to Apache OpenOffice. Our project involves a large range of different skills, levels of involvement and degrees of technical expertise. So, if you want to get involved in Apache OpenOffice, there is almost certainly a role for you.
We are looking for people to:
All of these contributions help to keep a project active and strengthen the community. We welcome and encourage participation, and try to make it as easy as possible for people to get involved.
OpenOffice is a large, complex open source project, with a culture developed over
many years as an independent project, combined with our experience at Apache.
If you are familiar with Apache-style open source development then you might just jump in. Subscribe to a relevant project mailing list and introduce yourself. We'll help you get started.
If, however, you are new to Apache, or want a more methodical approach to getting started, then we have a set of graduated New Volunteer Orientation Modules designed for new volunteers that takes you through a number of background topics related to Apache OpenOffice and how we do things.
Which path you take is up to you and is a matter of personal preference. You can even do both.
We also maintain a list of specific areas where we need volunteers on our Help Wanted page of the wiki.
If you are a student, looking to contribute to the project as part of your school work, please also see our Advice for Students page.