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How can I find a good open source project to join?

I'm currently a student in high school, and my passion is in programming and computer science. I love it, and I think I'm fairly good at it (at least compared to the average person of my age). I've taken a number of AP courses, especially in mathematics, and I also have taken AP Computer Science; though I've been reading books on computer science and programming since a fairly young age.

I was wondering what an appropriate way would be to go about extra-curricular activities involving programming (or computer science). I'm looking to go to a decent college, and I know many of them look for people who pursue their interests, and I want to find a way to show that I really am pursuing my interests.

I've heard that open source projects are a good way, but how can I prove that I actually contribute to a project? And how would I go about finding an appropriate project to join that will allow me to join? Are there any alternatives to open-source projects?

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marked as duplicate by World Engineer, Jonathan Khoo, Caleb, Walter, ChrisF Feb 14 '12 at 23:31

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
@Tom Have you heard about Google Summer of Code? –  Searock Feb 13 '12 at 7:16
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1 Answer

Search this site, as this question has been answered a whole bunch of times, regardless if you are a high school student, in college or someone in accounting that codes as a hobby.

Bottom Line: Do What Interests You.

If you want to work on open source that's great. There's a ton of projects out there and some of them produce something useful. If you use any of those projects for your own things (media players/managers, book libraries, dev tools...), then start with those? Are there known bugs issues that you would like to fix for yourself? Fix them and submit them back.

If there is no open source work that interests you yet, that's fine too. Just work on whatever you want to see improved or done differently in your every day use. Don't bite off too much, but if you start with something small and hopefully useful, you can always post it online (GitHub, CodeProject, CodePlex, BitBucket...) and share with others.

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