You seriously think that meaningfully contributing to development of software (ie beyond fixing some typos) is workable without using or caring about the software? The point of open source is to make software better, that’s why it’s a useful thing. It’s not charity or a social experiment. Throwing random unpaid, inexperienced people at a codebase they don’t know or care about just because they’ve decided they fancy a go is a recipe for bad software. What will they gain, except some green on their GH chart?
Open source successes: these aren’t successful because there are loads and loads of random people working on the codebases, they’re successful because either they have people paid to work on them, or there are a core of highly motivated contributors who know the code inside out. Not being great at coding doesn’t preclude useful contributions at all; not knowing or caring about the codebase or the project definitely does.
Have you ever had to maintain any software for a sustained period of time? You sure as shit need to be motivated, because it’s all painful, crap, admin work, low level tweaks. In a job, you get motivation because you’re paid. When you’re not, you need other sources of motivation to do crap jobs.
They would be the bit of FCC being phased out? And the quality of the ones on show ain’t great. It’s a lovely idea, but if I’m a non-profit, I want a experienced professional with a stake in what I do that will donate their time then support what they’ve built long-term over amateurs any day of the week. It smells similar to gap year charity work abroad; nice idea in theory but in practice a generally bad thing.
Re software? Sure, but a. I’m not a beginner and b. I’m not going to contribute just for the sake of contributing. I contribute because it’s something I know, or something I find useful, or it has fired my imagination, or I’m deeply.interested, or I know exactly what and how something can be improved, or I’m paid to care.