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I want to contribute to an open source project, but I don't know much about unit testing. I want to learn how to test and then practice my skills on an open source.

Will this also be acknowledged as a contribution.

I want to first get my name out there and then conc. on development.

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Open Source doesn't means Unit Test. There are plenty Open Source project without any unit test. Maybe you should pick those to add unit tests if it's what you are looking for. –  user2567 Oct 12 '10 at 17:20

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Other than writing tests, here are other works that are relatively easy to get started with while you're familiarizing yourself with the project:

  • triaging bugs
  • testing patches subitted on the bug tracker
  • preliminary patch review
  • writing docs
  • for smaller projects, packaging for package managers that they had not supported yet
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Those projects that practice unit testing would surely welcome decent, well-written tests. In projects that have been around a while, there's often all manner of functionality that hasn't been tested. Given that debugging and testing can be a bit of drudge work, projects often greatly appreciate someone taking the effort to do the necessary but not terribly sexy work. (Add writing documentation to the list of things-to-do!)

We see it in Squeak all the time, for instance, where an excellent way for newcomers to get their feet wet is to write tests for something that doesn't already have tests.

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