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Some people say OpenDaylight (ODL) requires a steep learning curve. But I don't think that is always true. I think it was more true a couple of years ago, but the ODL is becoming more and more user-friendly.

For beginners, I think it is important to have strong Java programming background. You need basic knowledge about the frameworks and libraries that ODL relies on such as Java (JDK7), Maven, Karaf (OSGI), Spring MVC, and so on. But knowing JDK, Maven, and Karaf, I think you are good to go for now because nobody knows everything from the start.

After that, you need to understant controller (MD-SAL), Yangtools, DLUX, and so on.

And then, you begin to make your own MD-SAL applications following famous Toaster example or ODL summit 2015 tutorial.

ODL wiki and will be your good friend.

ok, start with Application Development Tutorial - A Grand Tour of Coding for OpenDaylight Part 1 and Part 2.

Then, you will know what to do next.

Have fun! :-D