freenode's development efforts focus on improving the utility and robustness of the service, and serving peer-directed projects. Development activities are mostly coordinated on GitHub. There you'll find links to ircd-seven, the IRC daemon that powers freenode; freenode's custom changes to Atheme; the Group Management System; eir, a utility-bot and flexible IRC bot framework; and historical projects.
If you're interested in helping with, or just following, the development of any of these projects, join us in #freenode-dev or on the channel specific to the project of interest. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!