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There are many ways in how you can contribute to the MySQL project - and you don't need to be a developer to do it! Instead of, you could get involved in any of the following activities.
The MySQL team routinely releases new Development Milestone Releases (DMRs) as well as Labs releases to showcase new functionality in an upcoming MySQL version.We need your help filing bugs, and confirming that all features are complete and work as expected.
Do you love using MySQL? Do you like to write and connect with other community members? Then, consider writing a blog with various articles and news about what you are doing with MySQL. Blogs are superbly easy to set up and there are a ton of free and paid services (Blogger.com, blogspot.com, typepad, livejournal, etc) that allow you to quickly set up a new blog and maintain it with little effort.
Got skills? Then help out the beginners among us. Depending on your medium of choice, consider joining and contributing to any of the available resources described on the Getting Help page.
Ever seen that television show on the Discovery Channel called Mythbusters? It's two guys and their team of movie special effects wizards that debunk (and occasionally prove) common myths or urban legends using scientific methodology.
MySQL needs the same kind of folks debunking the variety of myths that still exist about MySQL on the Internet. You will see folks claim that MySQL doesn't support relational integrity, or transactions, or stored procedures, or claim that MySQL is a toy database, etc. We all know this isn't true. If you see this stuff, respond to it with fair, balanced, and firm information about MySQL. Don't let the FUD take over.
There are countless events and gatherings of Open Source Developers and Enthusiasts all around the world. Share your knowledge and expertise about MySQL by submitting talk proposals and attend these conferences as a speaker! Giving presentations about Best Practices with MySQL or explaining new features is always welcome.
OK, so this kind of hearkens back to the USO days of WWII... Let's say you really, really appreciate the work of a specific MySQL developer. Maybe they fixed a bug in record time, or they implemented a feature that you really wanted. Send them a letter! Just email the developer at firstname.lastname AT oracle DOT com. You can always find out who implemented a specific feature or fixed a bug by checking out the code on launchpad.
You may be a passionate user of MySQL, but how about your boss, or her boss? Help us promote the business benefits of MySQL in the corporate world. Encourage your boss to subscribe to the MySQL Newsletter, to download a business white paper from http://www.mysql.com/why-mysql/white-papers/ or send him to a webinar. The more successful MySQL is commercially, the more we can contribute back to open source.
Write About MySQL on Wikipedia
And not just Wikipedia. Any site that other technologists and business folks use to determine whether and what FOSS software can be used on projects and in the enterprise is a good start. Evangelize.
Simple and effective. Do you have a website? A blog? Download the logos at http://www.mysql.com/about/legal/logos.html and link to the MySQL web site to spread the word.
Be funny. Be smart. Be yourself. Talk about your MySQL contributions, interesting forum posts, interview community members, FOSS advocates and business people.
Think of a creative way to contribute? Contact the Community Team!