Become a developer

Getting guidance: Your central point of contact for all questions about becoming a developer is the Gentoo recruiters team. Please do not hesitate to contact them!

Becoming a developer

There are two paths for becoming a Gentoo developer. Those who would like to focus on ebuild development will be interested in gaining commit access to gentoo.git (the main ebuild repository). Those interested in every other area of contribution will likely still need commit access, but not to the main ebuild repository.

Ebuild work requires strict attention to technical detail and direct collaboration between developers; those persuing this path should expect a greater time commitment and additional feedback in order to develop the skills necessary for quality contribution.

Step 1. Contribute

If you would like to help Gentoo, first find yourself something to do. You may want to look at the contribution page, and subsequently look through the list of Gentoo projects. For ebuild work, you can try helping out one of the projects that focus on maintaining packages, such as the GNOME or KDE projects. Alternatively, you can maintain your own packages or co-maintain other Gentoo packages via the Proxy Maintainers project. For non-ebuild work, you may want to look at other projects, such as Bug Wranglers, Release Engineering, Website Maintainers, Wiki, Public Relations, or the Forums.

Step 2. Participate

If you enjoy working on Gentoo and would like to stay longer, you should consider starting to participate in the community. You should consider joining some of our IRC channels, subscribing to some of the mailing lists and/or using Gentoo forums. This way you get to know more of the Gentoo developers and users, and they get to know you!

Step 3. Find a mentor

The next step towards becoming a Gentoo developer is to find a mentor. A mentor is an existing Gentoo developer who will vouch for you and help you in. Most of the developers find their mentor among the developers they initially work with. If you have any trouble finding a mentor, contact the Mentors project.

Step 4. Take quizzes

Before you become an officially recognized Gentoo developer, you are expected to learn a few basics on how Gentoo is structured and how it operates. To get commit access, you will also need to know a fair bit about ebuilds. To help you get yourself knowledgeable, we have prepared one or two quizzes for you to take.

The prospective developer aiming to obtain commit access to the Gentoo ebuild repository should take the ebuild maintainer quiz.

Developers interested in non-ebuild work will take the developer quiz instead.

Step 5. Get recruited!

Once you and your mentor agree that you’re ready, arrange a review session with the Recruiters at a convenient time. During the session(s), Recruiters will interview you and ensure that you have obtained all the knowledge necessary for success. Once you pass the review, the Recruiters create your developer account and announce you as a new developer.

What do I get?

Besides the warm feeling of contributing to Free and Open Source Software?

There are indeed a few perks: You get an @gentoo.org email address, matching IRC cloak, special access flags on our wiki and Bugzilla sites, and a few other things to facilitate development efforts.