April 15, 2014
It’s a great time to learn programming. There has recently been an explosion of free online resources for every platform, including ebooks, web apps, videos, and games. The rise of sites like Stack Overflow and Github make it easy to share and explain code to the masses.
Free Programming Books is an open source repository on Github that has begun the monumental task of collecting all of these free resources in one place. It’s an idea ripe for the Github platform, and already 376 people have contributed over 2,000 commits, cataloging resources across the technology spectrum.
It’s a big list, one that takes effort to maintain. To keep it relevant, people will need to add content, alphabetize, check syntax, and fix broken links, especially for the less popular technologies. Like an encyclopedia, the project will never be finished.
I just submitted my third pull request to the project and plan to keep contributing.
New people looking to get into open source should look for projects like this. The barrier to entry is low and they highlight what is great about the community. This is an international team of programmers working for free, subsidized by enterprise (Github), building something that adds value to what we do. Very nice.