A valuable contribution an individual can make to WordPress development is to test WordPress, even if you are not a developer. Before every stable release of WordPress, pre-release versions are made available for testing. You can download the pre-releases and test them, so that the WordPress developers can fix problems before the new version is made available to the public.

If you want to be on the bleeding edge of development, even before pre-release versions are put together, you can also check out the latest software from the WordPress Subversion (SVN) repository. Or, you can get the “nightly build” (which is created from the Subversion repository) — almost as up-to-date as the instantaneous Subversion repository.

To get started, install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. Then navigate to Tools ? Beta Testing and review the settings:

  • Point release nightlies. If the current release is 3.3.1, then this will put you on the track for 3.3.2 development.
  • Bleeding edge nightlies. If the current release is 3.3.1, then this will put you on the track for 3.4 development.

If you find bugs while testing pre-release or already-released versions of WordPress, see Reporting Bugs or post in the Alpha/Beta support forum.