Hi, my name's Aaron and I'm a former member of the Umbraco core team. Before I departed the core team something I was pushing for was greater involvement between the core (and HQ) and the Umbraco developer community.
Let me make sure I clear one thing up first, Umbraco has a great user community, our.umbraco thrives with huge number of contributors helping everyone out from the beginner to the advanced. The extensions community is also a hive (sic) of activity.
The community that I'm talking about is the one around developing Umbraco as a product.
If you're reading this you most likely have some vested interest in Umbraco, you're doing freelancing and implementing it, your company sells solutions based around it or you are like me and just find CMSs sexy (well let's hope that's not the case :P). Whatever the case may be the direction of the product does have an impact on you so you should make sure your voice is heard. Even if you're not a developer your voice is important, feedback about things you/ your clients find challenging, features you'd like to see, testing alpha/ beta/ RC released or even just questioning why something was done a particular way.
How do I get involved?
This all sounds well and good but what should you do?
A few months ago the Umbraco 5 contrib was opened up and it's already starting to get some stuff around this up there.
There's a post on contributing and then there's the discussion around automated UI testing which Matt Braildsford took into a larger discussion last week.
Lastly there's a room on JabbR but it's a little quiet still these days.
Keep an eye on the Umbraco twitter stream and grab nightly Umbraco builds.
Raise a discussion if you don't understand why something was implemented some way (but keep implementation discussions to our.umbraco).
Monitor change set commits and make sure they are still conforming to what standards there are.