Anyone wanting to get involved with free software development, may need to start using IRC (Internet Relay Chat). To help new users or even those of us who already use IRC. There is a list of IRC clients on Linuxlinks.
Which is really useful. It is also nice to see Hexchat and Weechat (which I use) at first and second place respectively.
There is a similar list of console irc clients :-
Console clients are good as they can be run without having to rely on a GUI. For example on a system with no GUI installed, a GUI that isn’t or has stopped working or even if you are logged in remotely via ssh for example.
If it helps I have put a tutorial on how to set up some common IRC clients,(Hexchat, Weechat and IRSSI) on the Devon and Cornwall Linux user group website under the Tutorials menu.
If you are looking to support a project then the Help Debian guide on the Debian website, is great, as the information is a applicable generally and not just to the Debian Project, given all projects need developers, testers, documentation etc.