Russel Cooker asks two questions to free software Contributors. Here is my answers:
The most important advice I can give to someone who wants to contribute to the free software community is "Take it easy, it's only software". If you're not able to take criticism or to be drawn into tough discussions without taking it personal, you should consider if it it worth it to contribute. Most free software project have their part of to big egos, regular kooks and people with less than good communication skills. And worst of all, nor really good way of coercing people to behave or work together.
My own advantage of participationg in open source projects is the famous itch. For me the most convincing argument for working with open source is "Scratching you own itch while being lazy and not reinvent everything else." If you dn't have that itch, then you shouldn't care about joining a project.