Ever use Drupal or Drupal.org and come across some kind of minor, annoying issue... say a typo, or a code comment that could stand to be improved, or some other change that's only a couple of lines of code... and you think to yourself, "Self, this would take you about 5 minutes to fix, but your to-do list is 43.4 km long. Pass."
Well, the next time that happens, please pause for a moment, and file an issue for that minor problem, and tag it as "Novice".
Thanks to the efforts of brand-new contributor demarcoz, we rolled out a new Drupal.org improvement this week: a link to the queue of all Novice issues on the Dashboard! (which was itself a Novice issue: http://drupal.org/node/1266380 :))
The goal of the "Novice" tag is to help identify "low-hanging fruit" issues. This way, people who haven't been using Git and rolling patches since they were in diapers can have something bite-sized to chew on while they work their way up the learning curve of setting up a development environment, figuring out quirky git commands, and finding their way around Drupal coding standards and API peculiarities. This is a much nicer introduction to contributing than showing them an issue queue with 50,000 issues in it and saying "There ya go! Pick one that sounds interesting!" :)
And while it might take a new contributor a few days to solve something you could solve in a few minutes:
a) It's really fun to walk new people through this process and see what sorts of things trip new people up.
b) They're now equipped to tackle even harder issues in the queue, and they can eventually help you with your own 43.4 km long todo list.
c) They can also help improve documentation in places where they got stuck, and even help mentor other novices!
So the next time you find a small issue you could solve yourself in a few minutes, please don't! Instead, tag it as "Novice" and help to usher in a new crop of eager new contributors. :)