Tios writes "I've been studying programming languages (C++, Java, C, Visual Basic) on my own with the self-guided, basic textbooks and tutorials, and I'm starting to get tired of working with examples that are not put into real use. I'm motivated to utilize my programming potential, but I've not had any experience programming in a team environment with lead developers, mentors, or collaborators. If finding a programming job isn't an option, I wonder if I could volunteer for programming in an open-source community. If this is a good idea, how do I start? What resources are out there that could get me oriented in volunteering? What kind of basic projects are out there, with a supportive team/mentor for me to develop, practice, learn, and contribute?"