I just finished the survey for Fedora Project contributors who have been contributing for fewer than three years. If you can, I suggest you complete it too:
The survey made me think about why I was able to join the project in the ridiculous way I did. Rather than starting with sensibly small tasks, I jumped in at the deep end, thanks to Fedora Summer Coding 2010. In retrospect, I can see that my mentors in this project went out of their way, and spent a considerable amount of time ensuring that I could successfully complete the Musicians’ Guide.
I wish I could return the favour, either to another new person, or to the project generally. I wish I had enough time to actually commit to and perform one of the roles I’ve put myself into.
Either way, what I want to say here is that free software contributors–and maybe people in general–don’t necessarily understand the full impact and importance of their work.