This is my first time trying to install OpenWRT on my Netgear GS308T. I used the OEM HTTP file transfer update option in the settings and rebooted the switch. The switch light is now orange and I'm unable to access the switch through the web browser. I installed the .bin file and now I'm unsure of what to do.
Did you try connecting to it via ssh already? The initramfs image you installed (master snapshots) don't contain the webinterface. If that fails, you will need to connect to it via (3.3V!) serial console access to debug the issue (if you can connect, don't forget the second step of flashing the regular sysupgrade image).
PuTTY is a decent ssh client for windows (and which can also be used for serial console access), but modern windows also offers OpenSSH - whatever you fancy.
Also keep in mind that the default OpenWrt configuration only exposes the management interface (be it webinterface (which you don't have with your currently installed image) or ssh) on the first ethernet port, on a tagged VLAN with VID 100 (192.168.1.1) - but that's the same for all devices of the realtek target for now (although there are plans to make this more user friendly in the future; realtek support is still rather fresh, but working nicely).
Since I just tried to SSH into my Switch and nothing is happening, I'm guessing I need to re-image my switch to the factory firmware (assuming I'm able to). I looked it up and it says I can use U-Boot TFTP. But if it is bricked (supposedly) can I even access it?
I have given you a link to a step-by-step guide for correctly configuring VID100 on a linux system (hint, linux live systems are around for every major distribution), for windows you'll have to search for yourself. The alternative would be using serial console access, with the details for the connection being explained in the previously linked commit description adding support for this device.
Please take a step back, read what you've been given and try to understand what that means for your situation - ask about the things that might be confusing.
Right now I don't think your switch has any problem to begin with (once you configure the right VLAN settings on your computer), and even if it did, I would expect it to be easily solvable over a serial connection. But if you storm ahead without really understanding what you're doing, there is a quite considerable risk of doing permanent harm to the switch - so take your time and read what you really should have read before even thinking about flashing OpenWrt to your (any) device for the first time.
Disclaimer: While I'm not familiar with this particular device, I have flashed (and am using-) OpenWrt on other rtl838x based switches - and it works rather nicely, once you've settled on your desired configuration and access policy for the management VLAN (lan).
Being one of trhe first ones having "bricked" my gs308t tried everything except for serial. I remember having my vlan set to 100 and still wasn't able to work out. I'm certain that can't be the case, how we're you able to find out about that? I'll try to make time for another attempt this weekend if not I'm willing to donate this to anyone skilled for others to avoid this problem. Is it possible that this firmware flash changed to a higher voltage and just fried the chip? It gets hot pretty quick. Just assuming after watching this unrelated to firmware flashing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuQ3iv4iLbw
Okay, so I was able to SSH into my switch using Putty on 192.168.1.1 with my VLAN set to 100. I didn't set a new password yet. I closed the session and now I can't re-open the session. I tried unplugging and replugging and waiting a few minutes and tried again. Still no connection open.
EDIT: NVM, I waited even longer and now I'm able to access the session again.
Make sure your computer Ethernet cable is plugged into the first port then set your VLAN to 100. Try another SSH session and you should be greeted with something that'll ask you to login. There is no set password yet.
Keep in mind that you're still running the initramfs image, which won't save settings - you now need to sysupgrade again using the sysupgrade image, to correctly initialize the overlay. Once that is sorted, you can install luci (the webinterface) and configure the switch as you wish.