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# Where do I start?

If you have no idea where to start with your engagement with an Apache project
If you have no idea where to start your engagement with an Apache project,
this is the page for you.

### Finding the right project

The key to working on projects at Apache (and any open source for that matter)
The key to working on projects at Apache (and on any open source project, for that matter)
is to have a personal reason for being involved. You might be trying to solve
a day job issue, you might be looking to learn a new technology or you might
simply want to do something fun in your free time. We don't care what your
motivation is we just care about you wanting to get involved.

If you don't have a specific technical issue to solve you might be willing to
work on any project. Our [projects page][1] provides a useful index which
allows you to view projects alphabetically, by category or by language. When you view a projects detail page in this list you will find details of their
allows you to view projects alphabetically, by category or by coding language. When you view a projects detail page in this list you will find information about their
mailing lists, issue tracker and other resources.

As well as our main projects you might also like to view our
You might also like to view our
[Incubating projects][2]. These projects work in exactly the same way as our "top
level projects" but are still developing their initial community.

Once you've found some interesting looking projects join their mailing lists and
Once you've found some interesting-looking projects, join their mailing lists and
start "lurking". Read the mails that come through the list. Initially you will not
understand what people are talking about, but over time you will start to
pick up the language, objectives, strategies and working patterns of the community.
pick up the language, objectives, strategies, concerns and working patterns of the community.

#### Finding an issue to work on

If you are trying to satisfy a specific technical problem then you already know
what you want to work on, but if you are looking for something useful to do in
order to participate in an ASF project then the projects issue/bug tracker is your
friend (this will be linked from the projects home page or from its entry on the
If you are trying to satisfy a specific technical problem, you already know
what you want to work on; but if you are looking for something useful to do in
order to participate in an ASF project, the projects issue/bug tracker is your
friend (you can find a link to it from the project's home page or from its entry on the
projects page linked above).

In the projects issue tracker you will find details of bugs and feature
requests the project would like to work with, this should give you some
In the project's issue tracker you will find details of bugs that have been reported and feature
requests the project is considering. This should give you some
inspiration about how you might be able to help the project community. If
you are looking for a beginner level issue try searching JIRA for issues
with the label "GSoC" or "mentor", these are issues the community feel are
you are looking for a beginner-level issue try searching JIRA for issues
with the label "GSoC" or "mentor"; these are issues the community feels are
manageable for someone new to the ASF and their project. The community has
also indicated that they are willing to help someone work on those issues
through our [mentoring program][3].

## Joining the community

once you have identified an issue you would like to tackle its time to join the
projects mailing list (if you haven't already) and get started.
Once you have identified an issue you would like to tackle, it's time to join the
project's mailing list (if you haven't already) and get started.

Remember, community members usually happy to help, but they have to get something
Remember, community members are usually happy to help you, but they have to get something
in return. The community needs to believe that you intend to contribute positively
to their work. There is a limit to how much "hand holding" you will get so be ready
to their work. There is a limit to how much "hand-holding" you will get, so be ready
to do some work if you expect to continue to be helped in your first foray into
open source.

At this point you might want to request that someone in the community offers to
At this point you might want to ask if someone in the community can
mentor you. See our [mentoring programme][4] for guidance on how to do this.

Alternatively you can dive straight in and work with the community. Since you've
been lurking on the lists for a while by the time you have got to this point you
been lurking on the lists for a while, you
should have a feel for how to get involved, so go for it.

A very good first step would be to introduce yourself in an email to the list. Explain your interest in the project and anything relevant in your background or skills, and identify the bug or feature request you would like to work on.

# Further Reading
* Some common questions are answered in our [FAQ][5]
* To learn more about "The Apache Way" of developing software see the
foundations [How It Works][6] pages.
* Answers to some common questions are in our [FAQ][5]
* To learn more about "The Apache Way" of developing software, see the
Foundation's [How It Works][6] pages.


[1]: https://projects.apache.org/
[2]: https://incubator.apache.org/
[3]: /newbiefaq.html#NewbieFAQ-AbouttheApacheMentoringProgramme
[4]: /mentorprogrammeapplication.html
[5]: /newbiefaq.html
[6]: https://apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html
[6]: https://apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html

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