Wave here again!
I have a vauge notion that you can help open source projects fix issues with code, and that its generally encouraged to do so if you can. Currently, I'm stuck on:

1. How do I find said projects, and
2. Once I do, how do I figure out what they need?

I'm aware of large, well-developed projects, but I can't imagine I'd be able to contribute anything to, say, the linux kernel.
My mental concept is:
Find project (somehow), check issues(bug reports?), fix issue, pull request, hope its accepted?
Is this even a thing i should be thinking about yet?
That is a thing you can do if you just want to help generic projects, but probably a better strategy (at least in terms of motivation) is to find bugs in things you use, try to patch the bug, & then if you are able to fix it, do a pull request (or E-mail the maintainer or whatever, depending). Or if you find an unreported bug that you do not know how to patch, just reporting it can help, too.

If you just try fixing random projects, there is the risk that you do not understand in enough depth what the code is supposed to do without having used it & gotten enough context, & then you might not correctly fix a bug. There is also the risk that you might find it aversive working on something you have no personal interest in & then backpropagate that to an aversion to helping out with open source projects, or something like that.
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