1. Join mailing lists.

If you are a developer interested in contributing to OpenStack, join the OpenStack dev mailing list (http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openstack-dev). You get to participate in a number of conversations about the various projects and how they are progressing.

If you are an operator interested in deploying and learning how to use OpenStack join the operators’ mailing list (http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openstack-operators).

  1. Get an IRC Client.

Get yourself an IRC client (I use HexChat for Windows), register and secure your IRC nick (https://freenode.net/kb/answer/registration) and join OpenStack IRC channels (#openstack, #openstack-dev, #openstack-trove, …). A full list of openstack channels is at https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/IRC.

  1. Register with Launchpad, Github, and sign the ICLA.

Definitely do register for a Launchpad account, and sign the OpenStack ICLA. (https://launchpad.net/, and http://www.openstack.org/), get yourself a GitHub account if you don’t already have one.

  1. Find a machine that you can dedicate to OpenStack, consider cloning devstack (git clone http://git.openstack.org/openstack-dev/devstack) and launching your OpenStack locally. Or you can deploy OpenStack from packages provided by several distributions, Canonical, Red Hat, etc.

There’s nothing like actually running OpenStack to get familiar with it.

  1. If you want to be a contributor to OpenStack, pick an area of interest to you; for storage you have Cinder and Swift (also Manila), for compute, you have Nova, Magnum, and others. For databases, you have Trove, and so on. Once you know what projects you are interested in, point your browser at https://review.openstack.org/#/settings/ and establish a list of “Watched projects”.

You’ll then be able to go to https://review.openstack.org/#/q/is:watched+status:open,n,z and see code reviews for all the projects you are interested in.

It is a great idea to follow active reviews, and get a hand with the development process in the projects of your choice.

And you’ll be on your journey to OpenStack!

Help is only one IRC or mailing-list message away. But, be patient. Don’t expect an instant reply.

The OpenStack community is a friendly bunch, throw your question out there on #openstack or #openstack-dev or the mailing list and you are sure to get an answer soon.

You can reach me at ‘amrith’ and I usually hang out in #openstack-dev, #openstack-trove or #tesora.

Welcome, and all the very best!