There are a lot of very good reasons for developers to get on board with Open Source Software (OSS). Businesses are making use of OSS both because of the cost savings and the excellent quality of the code (not to mention the open development model which makes it very easy for them to get involved). Whether you are student looking for your first job or a senior engineering looking at the strategic direction for your company, open source can play a key role in your career.
When I talk to people about OSS I’m often asked, “How can I get involved?“. One of the first things you can do is to start filing bugs. Of course, ranting about missing features or writing vague bug reports that nobody can understand doesn’t help. But if you notice something wrong with your favorite open source software, why not file a good bug report?
So why am I bringing this up today? For those of you unfamiliar with the Eclipse development process, this Friday marks the feature freeze for Eclipse 3.6 (at least for the platform). After this Friday, the developers will be focusing on regressions and other serious bugs for the next 6 weeks or so. On Monday – Tuesday (April 26 – 27) most Eclipse committers will be working through a pretty serious 2 day test pass. This test pass will help us determine what serious bugs need to be fixed. If you’re building your business on Eclipse technology or you just happen to use Eclipse as your IDE of choice, spending a day of your time helping to test Eclipse is likely time well spent.
I spent today working through a number of p2 UI tests. If you’re interested in helping out, download the latest Eclipse Integration Build (look for the builds starting with an I. At the time of writing, the latest IBuild is I20100426-0852). If you’re on IRC, you can join #eclipse-dev or #equinox-dev and we can point you at some features that need some testing.