For those new to software development, finding valuable resources to further your skills can be the most difficult challenge of all.
Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you — gathered the 5 most important resources for an open-source developer of any experience level.
Let’s take a look…
Starting your open-source journey safely
Hold your horses — I know you probably want to dive straight into the vast sea of open source, but first, mentioning the risks involved is crucial. Many open-source programs and websites you visit can be corrupted or require a secure connection.
The most pain-free method of encrypting your data and connection is via Virtual Private Network (VPN). So before you start your adventure into the world of open-source, ensure your browsing is safe and secure with a VPN.
The 5 essential resources for open-source developers
No matter your experience level, software architects to newbies will find great value in the resources listed below.
You’d be remiss not to get comfortable with GitHub, the internet’s largest open-source archive. Yet, GitHub doesn’t stop there — there’s a wide range of products, communities, and coding solutions if you get stuck.
For a small monthly fee, you can access an AI “Copilot” which helps you code, different dev environments, and much more. On GitHub, you can also sponsor up-and-coming devs or even seek sponsorship yourself.
Other than the forums, the GitHub blog is also a powerful tool. With fresh content every week, software architects and team managers can stay up-to-date with the evolving trends in the open-source industry.
First published in 1991, Linux is a family of open-source Operating Systems (OS) built from the Linux kernel. To the die-hard developers out there, Linux is the only straightforward choice for open-source software engineers.
However, Linux isn’t just an OS. The Linux Foundation has been pushing for transparent and decentralized software development since 2000. The foundation also offers free and paid training courses, webinars, tutorials, and a blog.
Every year, the Linux Foundation offers scholarships to a number of individuals who show promise in open-source development. The categories cover everyone from “Open Source Newbies” to “Linux Kernel Gurus.” If chosen, your course will be free-of-charge.
#3. Google Summer of Code (GSoC)
Google has been introducing students to open-source coding since 2005 with its Summer of Code (GSoC). Bringing in tens of thousands of new open-source devs since its inception, a large project during GSoC can last over 12 weeks.
Beware, GSoC is not for the faint-hearted. It’s so hard that 80% of students eventually withdraw from GSoC or fail completely when their skills are deemed insufficient at or before their first evaluation.
GSoC is also a great opportunity for budding devs to earn their first buck in software development. In 2023, Google pays up to $6600 USD for a large-scale project, varying depending on your country of origin.
Do you want to explore the fascinating projects that other open-source devs have created? If so, SourceForge is the obvious solution. Since 1999, SourceForge has been a platform for open-source collaboration and software sharing.
The software platform sees 2.3 million downloads a day from nearly 20 million monthly users. SourceForge’s software devs have created over 500,000 projects, making it the largest complete software directory on the internet.
If you’re looking for endless options for B2B or any other business software, it’s your lucky day. SourceForge boasts “thousands of B2B software and services categories” for you to compare and choose from.
You can’t truly be the best developer you can be if you stop learning. As programming languages evolve so quickly, learning new languages and skills is essential. There’s no better spot to train your software knowledge than Udemy.
Udemy is a huge marketplace for online courses, covering everything in software development. Here, you can learn the basics of a new coding language or reinforce your app development abilities.
The more seasoned devs out there might also be interested in becoming mentors. Udemy course curators have made lucrative amounts from sharing their broad knowledge with the world.
The most difficult part of any software dev's career is finding resources to further their progress in open-source development.
Through the resources listed in this article, you’ll strengthen your knowledge and skills, or even become a central part of a thriving open-source community.