Looking for .NET projects to contribute to

I’ve been getting a fair bit of mesages from developers, who are enthusiastic about DDD and the common ALT.NET toolset, looking for a good project to contribute to – as a means of doing some hands on learning and helping out the community at the same time. I know one place to start might be Jeff Atwood’s open source list, but I was hoping someone might have more specific ideas.

I think one of the challenges is that many open source projects tend to be tools for developers, and as such they are either pretty complicated, or don’t relate well to typical enterprise development. The other problem is that many open source projects are well established and have a large codebase, which makes them significantly harder to get involved with.

Anyways, if anyone knows of a good open source project where a junior developer would be able to understand and contribue, please let us know. (Self-promotions welcomed)


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11 Responses to Looking for .NET projects to contribute to

  1. John M says:


    Not new but used by many. Active development (number of people working on it) seems to have slowed down over the years.


  2. Josh says:

    IronEditor is relatively new, but looks very interesting.


    I hope to start contributing to it pretty soon.

  3. Tuna Toksoz says:

    A new blogging engine with mvc based structure?

    and yes, nhibernate.linq needs some help.

  4. Mike Hadlow says:

    I’ve got an open source eCommerce application, Suteki Shop (http://code.google.com/p/sutekishop/). There’s an example here (http://sutekishop.co.uk/). It’s a small application that’s taken a couple of months of my time so far and the code is pretty easy to follow. It uses the MVC Framework, LINQ-to-SQL and the Windsor IoC container, so it might be interesting for anyone who wants to see a typical small scale business application written using those tools.

  5. Mvccontrib (http://mvccontrib.org) would be another one, and it doesn’t have a complicated codebase.

  6. Me and Jeff would welcome any new folks to the MbUnit\Gallio project. MbUnit has a long history of welcoming and helping folks new to the trade and those keen to learn more. We have very talented members that folks can learn from. If your interested then send me a mail.


  7. Kurt says:

    On the very trivial end of things, I was thinking of expanding my Vista NetSend program to use ideas from DDD, TDD and alt.net, (just as a learning exercise) but am still thinking of ways to to that. I suppose adding the ability to store sent and received messages in a DB would be the first step, or at least writing some unit tests.


  8. Bill says:

    There are a couple that I think would be very willing to accept patches and help someone learn. Off the top of my head:

    1. Cruise Control .NET
    This is actually a pretty easy to understand codebase. Yes it is developer oriented, but the code is very modular and well covered with unit tests. It was one of the easiest projects I’ve ever seen to grok.

    2. Castle
    (Or more aptly, focus on any specific component) Castle is a pretty big codebase, but it is actually more of a conglomeration of projects. Hey, it couldn’t hurt to really understand ActiveRecord (and therefore NHibernate), or Windsor, but smaller tasks like DynamicProxy (which you must know by now seems to be used everywhere) or Validator are probably easier to grasp.

  9. Linq for NHibernate could use more help. :-)
    And yes, that is not exactly a trivial project.

  10. Karl,
    CodeCampServer would be a good place. http://codecampserver.org.

  11. DannyT says:

    for me, all of your tutorials, articles, books and sample projects are some of the most useful resources going for getting into DDD and Alt.Net. So How about just keeping on expanding on that into your own kind of OS Curriculum? One of the biggest flaws in the majority of open source projects is the jump from beginner to honed whizz. A catalogue of sample projects (so still involving developing) with supporting documentation would be a further huge asset for many.

    (short version: write and code more useful stuff for people like me to catch up ;))