Let me quote Rec Dev fattire here:
Off the top of my head...
- You never, ever have to wait for a nightly
- You can add or remove as-yet uncommitted features with ease.
- You learn how Android works under the hood
- You learn how to use Linux
- You'll learn how to use git
- You may, even accidentally, pick up a little C, Java, C++, and learn about the build system.
- You can personalize Android-- make your own tweaks, modules, graphics, add or remove projects etc. In other words, you have control over every aspect of your device's functionality. Your build is custom to you.
- You can audit the code for potential security issues such as back doors or trojans (as opposed to just trusting a random person who posts a build). Since CM10 source is open, you can examine every commit, and there are many eyes looking at the code. (does not apply to proprietary blobs, but these are pulled from your device, so you have and are using them already)
- You can contribute features/fixes back upstream
- You can start ports to other as-yet-unsupported devices (start by copying folders from similar devices to devices/manufacturer/model)
- You come to really understand that Android phones and tablets are full-fledged general-purpose computers just like laptops and desktops.
- AAAAND....you get huge bragging rights
The extent to which you delve into the above is entirely up to you. The walkthrough is just an introduction to that world. Some people will build once and never do it again... but others will start to tinker and make changes to their own build and want to share them with others, and soon some will start making contributions back to official CM10 upstream... or port to new devices... and by fixing bugs and all this... everyone benefits.
- It's fun.