So, it appears that I’ve been under the false assumption that my only way to contribute to a large project, regardless of corporate or open source, was through straight programming. How fortunate I am that I’ve been wrong.
I’ve never considered myself an ‘ace programmer’ by any means, and I have more than one not so fond memories of staring at pages of code wondering why it won’t work. This has lead to a more favored past time of coding, debugging. Generating code for me is often slow, and tedious. While the pseudo-code can flow easily, actual implementation takes a bit more work and requires even more headaches. But, once I get the general code going, debugging it for errors and making it run a bit more efficient seems to be something I can do, rather easily; especially when its belongs to someone else. Perhaps that is what I should be setting my sights on, improving how well I can debug code, as it appears to be just another valuable facet of coding.
In a somewhat related event, the class I am working with on the OpenMRS project has been introduce to yet another invaluable tool, IRC chat. Nothing can help you become familiar with a new program then spending a couple hours straight working with it and communicating with your peers. Reminds me a little bit of MSN messenger or AOL back in my youth, but now with actual purpose.