Learn Open Source (or anything!)

Free self-taught Computer Science for everyone (and pointers to learn stuff quickly)

Published on Monday, September 26, 2016

(Apologies for the long title, but it is the best I could come up with to capture the essence of what this post is about)

So, the other day a colleague posted a fun fact about how Microsoft is now the leading contributor to open source projects on Github. You can find the data on Octoverse. I encourage the reader to check this page out - it also presents data on what's trending on Github in terms of most starred projects and one can get a general sense of the next big thing in OSS world.

Reading through, I came across a repo called Computer Science by Open Source Society. Check it out here. What evoked my interest is the following quote under the section "Motivation and preparation": A motivational video that shows how someone went through the entire curriculum of MIT computer science in 1 year! This is followed by a link to a MOOC that teaches the student techniques to learn to learn.

(MOOC = Massive Open Online Course for those who haven't heard of the term before. Simply put, a MOOC is a course of study made available free of charge for anyone to enroll and learn at their own pace)

Now, take my word for this, as a professional software developer, I can vouch for the fact the ability to learn and keep learning is the one skill that can help one stay and grow in their career like no other. The inimitable John Sonmez has an excellent course on 10 steps to learn anything quickly. There's also this great book by Josh Kaufman that talks about how to remove barriers to optimal learning. The book develops the idea presented by Josh in his Ted-Talk

Coming back to the Github repo, it has a wealth of information on computer science and even for those who have been lucky to have learnt this at college, the material is a great refresher to get the cerebral juices flowing.

Happy Learning!