Akhil Kumar GSoc20 Aspirant
Welcome, glad to hear you're interested!
Not completely necessary, but do you already have familiarity with Octave or Matlab?
Not sure what the Z link is, but it's GNU Octave :) You've seen the project list , have you seen Getting Started recommendations ? Are you familiar with version control systems and Mercurial? have you or can you set up a cloned Octave source code to work on?
After ensuring you're prepared to work on the Octave code base, we normally ask the prospective students to try tackling a bug or missing function to get used to the contribution process. That's not mandatory, and we're only 10 days away from the proposal deadline, but showing competence, interest, and willingness to work with the developer as a community and with our workflow is important. So, best effort there.
it would make sense to reach out to the mailing list regarding a specific project you're interested in.
I'm personally don't use IRC, but many others do, so I can't help there.
Follow the details on the wiki, and reach out regarding a specific project suggestion, or one of your own. If it's based on existing an bug report, you can likely identify the right people to contact from that report.