Contributing to Monero
Contributing to The Monero Project
There are lots of ways for newcomers to contribute to The Monero Project.
Testing / bug reports
Know how to compile some code? Then it helps for others if you test out builds or run software on various version to catch any errors that slip through. Report bugs and security issues.
If you have an IT or CS background and can code, go to #monero-dev on freenode and ask around to see if anything needs doing. You can also simply go to the Monero Project on GitHub and see what issues need help.
Run a node
Secure the network and help keep Monero decentralized, it's simple to do, and only requires some bandwidth. Learn how to set up a monero node here. You can also run a node on a VPS, guide on how to do that is here.
It is still possible to mine, even on a cpu. If you have some spare hardware, you are actively adding to it's decentralisation. Find more information on mining Monero in this thread on Bitcointalk.
Spread the word
The size of the Monero community is very very small in the grand scheme of things. Even beyond that, bitcoin itself is still a very niche thing in the wider world. Talk to the friends you know who might be interested in this kind of thing and get more people involved.
Ongoing development of the Monero Project is solely supported by donations and sponsors. At this time the project is vastly underfunded, and thus donations are greatly appreciated. You can also donate for bounties in the forum funding section, or if theres a feature you're passionate about, you could get it posted.