This is a bit late (alright, more than two months late), but the Linux Foundation did a little Q&A with me about my role as a developer in OpenDaylight. The key quote I think people should take away is this:
Grab the code and get it to do something first.
A good place to start is getting the installation guide which also walks through getting the simple forwarding application to work. There’s a few moving parts, but the documentation there is pretty good and if you need any help you should jump on #OpenDaylight channel on the freenode server and there’s almost always people willing to help out there.
From there, we have a curated and documented list of small, but very useful tasks that need work along with mentors that are willing to help out. Other than that, hop on the mailing lists and chime in.
Lastly, again, don’t forget the IRC channel. Really. It’s the best way to get fast feedback.
Read the whole thing here, but seriously, come join the fun.