Resources for Beginners in Programming

Hello everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

I’m passionate about computer science and eager to get involved in open-source projects. I’ve completed several of the beginner programming courses on the web.

However, I often feel overwhelmed by the complexity of major projects on GitHub and the discussions in issue threads. While I understand some fundamental programming concepts, I find it challenging to apply them effectively and become a valuable contributor.

Could anyone recommend resources or strategies to deepen my programming skills and enhance my contributions to projects? Also, is a college degree essential for this, or are there effective ways to learn and progress independently?

Thank you!


Read documentation, start small and work on projects that you are interested in.

No, you can contribute to open-source projects without needing one. Pace yourself in a sustainable manner so your interest remains steadfast.

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It is difficult for us to judge your level of achievement so far but my guess is that, as you have realised …

Most established projects are large and complex, and have also been put together by someone else (make sense to that person or persons but not necessarily to anyone else, depending on the level of technical documentation). That may be beyond where you are at right now.

My suggestion would be to work on something by yourself, something that will be useful to you, and which will strengthen your software development experience.

It perhaps should go without saying that in order to contribute programming to a project, you need to be competent in the programming language(s) that the project uses, which may or may not be a happy alignment.

In the meantime, you still may be able to contribute to a project in the areas of testing and documentation.

My opinion: I don’t think so. But you do need aptitude and perseverance.

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Old programmers. Yes, there is a country for old men.

(Although they may have a fixation on data alignment.)


Channeling my inner @Kyle_Rankin:
“You see me now a veteran of a thousand software wars
I’ve been living on the edge so long
Where danger of C pointers roar
I’m young enough to look at your code
And far too old to see
What the hell you think you’re doing
I don’t know if there’s employment left for me
Don’t let more 3GLs get made
It’s time we had a break from it”

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I think the following opinion piece is a good introduction on figuring out how to get started: What contributing to Open-source is, and what it isn’t

The associated Hacker News discussion thread may be helpful, too.

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I would start with “Hello World” :grin: