Building your resume
People often ask me why do I and others write Open Source code and why should they do so?
Besides it being fun one of the answers I give is that people can build their resume with such activity.
It is especially important for beginners who don't yet have years of experience. Who cannot point to previous employers who will recommend them.
That means students, or people in their first job can benefit a lot. Also if you have been in a company for several years when next time you go and try to find a job who are you going to ask for recommendation? Your current employer? Your previous one where you worked 3-4-5 years ago? Neither is really good.
So writing open source code might be a good way to show your expertise. So should you start a new project? You don't need to do that. The best I think is to find an existing project and to start to contribute.
I have not used Ohloh earlier but now that I registered, (and wrote about it Compare Languages by usage) it looks like a nice tool to collect your contributions to various projects and get some overall rating.
So I'd recommend everyone here to start contributing to an open source project and if you did so, register on Ohloh and claim your commits.