the idea is great but please don't scare off new volunteers because in most cases, packaging is not that
From my personal experience: I have never learnt or done any C-programming. I learned some basic Bash-coding by googling for what I wanted a program to do, addlocale, lomanager, getvirtualbox, and others were done this way. Then these scripts had to be packaged but I had zero knowledge about packaging -> at first Tex and Neal did that for me but then I thought I should do that myself, and mostly it is not that difficult, just some patience, determination, plus you learn something, so: set up the build environment as instructed by Neal, read the posts in the Packagers
section, take a simple program that needs updating, and try, play, ask, test, etc. until it works. Do that for other simple programs until you feel more comfortable. A great part of packaging is just updating existing programs and luckily that usually works without problems. Then there is always time to tinker with the more tricky ones...
And I do not have 35 partitions but simply 2 virtual machines for building packages, one for 32bit and one for 64bit, each of them with a separate /home partition so in case I screw up completely I can quickly do a fresh install and keep all my sources/specs in place.
It really is not THAT difficult, dedication and willingness are the key requirements, just do it!