🎉 How an Open Source Project Can Get You Hired 🎉

:tada: How an Open Source Project Can Get You Hired :tada:


@Selhar1 @himaeng @KingSlic: You can try a Free Week at Treehouse

It has in-depth video tutorials which is built with an eye on cumulative learning without cherry picking. You learn progressively step-by-step. I am using their tutorials to complement my studies at FCC. As an example, when I got stuck with the Random Quote Machine project, I used the two courses: Rest API Basics and HTTP Basics to better understand APIs. After the courses, I finished the Random Quote Machine within two hours.

Hence, every time I get stuck with one of the FCC project, I make a detour and go to Treehouse to learn about the specific skills that I lack. When I come back to FCC, it becomes really easy for me to finish the project.

Further great tips:

  1. If you just wish to use Treehouse free for a week, sign up with different email addresses for the trial period and finish off one course after the other. Just don’t forget to cancel your subscription on the seventh day. (I know it is a bit cheating but you save money and it is legal :slight_smile:)

  2. You can sign up for a student plan. (Not sure if they still have it though) If you email [email protected] with your student ID and another document of proof of studentship such as the bill for your university, then you get the Basic Plan for only $9 / month which is totally worth the cost.

  3. If you see that their Tech Degree is higher than $99, just write to [email protected] and ask for the discounted pricing of $99. They are somewhat experimenting with different pricing strategies with different user groups based on location and demographics. But say to them that you discovered that someone else can get the same thing for $99 instead of $399. They just changed the pricing displayed on my account one day ago and I know for a fact that another FCC camper has the lower pricing while I was stuck with the much higher pricing.


Announcement: I just got an official email from Treehouse. They said that they temporarily shut down the student discount. They are considering to reinstate it though. Just so you know that there is currently no student discount.


Thank you for posting your experience. It is very valuable.


I also discovered that it works for me that I use FreeCodeCamp curriculum as the main axis, the skeleton, to which i add knowledge from various websites. I just finished Twitch App Challenge - to make it work I took AJAX Basics course on Udacity as well as CSS Flexbox course on Treehouse. Multisourcing your knowledge is a great help, especially to see a given problem from different perspectives.

PS Thanks for your post! Big amount of motivation + useful tips. I didn’t know about GitHub Student Developer Pack either :smiley: I was about to set my portfolio this month, now i’ll have it hosted for free :slight_smile:

Any other freebies for students that you’ve heard of? :wink:


Thank you @byteknacker very inspiring post and your CV template looks so good!
@sebastianhew Another freebie is the IntelliJ pack for students https://www.jetbrains.com/student/


You are welcome @cecorrede, I am very glad you like this post.

@sebastianhew let’s make a list here for freebies relevant to coding.

I have a tip for indirectly getting free stuff that is worth a lot:

Join a Hackathon. If you are beginner or intermediate, go for local and small hackathons. Chances are that the teams there are inexperienced and you are much more likely to win. Go there with your team. Prepare a week before the hackathon and do already a prototype of your app. During the hackathon finish or polish your finished app and present it to the jury. Go to hackathons as much as you can. I personally noticed huge improvements of my coding skills after a hackathon. You also will make new friends and perhaps can also get hired by the sponsors.

Try to network during a hackthon. Chances are that the sponsors are some big and renowned companies. Don’t be afraid to give the CTO, who is frequently there, your CV. Be very direct of what you want, e.g. “I am good at X and I want to have a job doing X. I am confident that I can help your company in this field”. Give quantitative examples to support your claim.


I would definitely add to that list teamtreehouse trial mentioned above. The quality of their videos is stunning. But I’m not sure if signing up with different e-mail addresses is legal.

I know that there is a discount for students at CodeSchool -> $19 a month instead of $29, but I don’t know if they’re that good compared to teamtreehouse.com


Codecademy has less content but their style of delivery is very similar to FCC. In browser interactive typing. I find them very motivating. I think their freemium is also very good and you don’t need to pay for them.


Yeah, whenever I have an occasion to recommend a source of knowledge for somebody completely green in programming I say go to codecademy, then If you’ll feel comfortable with basic concepts go to freecodecamp.


That is true, I find that as you go through the curriculum of FCC the curve of learning or effort you have to make increases very fast. I am sure as a beginner you need additional help elsewhere and then come back quickly to the projects.

I also highly recommend a subscription on safari online. I am testing it now and it really has a great value. The most important is the instant and convenient access to the newest and greatest educational textbooks there are for programming. I am a proponent of reading textbooks and documentation to learn coding and without books, I am not confident that my skills are professional.


Isn’t it much for $39 a month for this safari digital library? I woudn’t be able to get through one book in a month, so it would be cheaper for me to just buy one, i think (?)
Apart from that - Interesting and true psychological fact, we trust the knowledge from books more than even highly recommended internet source, I’m no exception to this :slight_smile:


Yes it would only help if you read through more than two or so per month. I among going through those parts of the book that I need to get things done, so I end up with 5 books needed for a project or so sometime. Instead of buying those which I mostly only need once I just get the subscription. If I end up not using the books I can cancel any time.


I’m not on that level yet, good to know about it though. Hope I’ll be in need to use several books a month for some complicated projects one day. :smiley:


Thanks @byteknacker for an excellent article.


You are most welcome @vicmania2007


@meetmangukiya to answer your questions about my job and what software development is all about in the real world, I list here both your questions and my answers so every camper can benefit.

Question 1:
What is a real software engineer job like?

Answer 1:
It largely depends on the following factors:

a. Size of your company
b. Culture of your company
c. Your boss and colleagues
d. Your particular job description

I can tell you exactly about my current situation. The size of my company is 20 people together including management. The company specialises in using Open Source technologies to build custom software for big corporates. We also have 2 legacy software that we license to customers. The culture is agile, we do daily SCRUM meeting, we implement new technology very fast. The team is small, up to 6 people max per team.

Furthermore, we always hangout after lunch, which is included everyday. We chill at the terrace for 15 min and get back to work. I have two monitors and a custom made Linux computer with keyboard and mouse. Everyday, my coworkers teach me a few extremely useful and yet hard to get skills. Like clicking the middle mouse button to paste directly into the command line (very few books out there would bother to mention this and yet I use it now every other minute).

I use Safari Online to read on multiple books for a single technology and try to master it while incrementally improving on the application or feature I am writing. Currently, I am writing infrastructure as code with Vagrant as a wrapper and SaltStack as provisioner for a Jenkins setup to automatically implement Continuous Integration. It is a bit like the “automation of automation of testing and deployment”. (I thought about the automation of writing codes too but that was a bit too far fetched at this point. I do have some concepts written down in my notebook on the “Principle of Code Self-Propagation as a Means to Achieve Artificial Intelligence”. I write another post on that and open source my example code).

Question 2:
What do you do most of your day? Maintain an existing code, look for bugs or just write new software?

Answer 2:
Our team actually actively writes new software most of the time. I was a bit fortunate. It is a bit like: 20% maintaining what is there, 30% upgrading the old parts to new parts, and the rest is writing new code.

You always look for bugs, there is no way around it. The things you can do to improve the process of debugging is to try to write better code from the start and use CI to detect mistakes automatically and consistently with infrastructure as code.

In terms of how a typical day looks like, it is actually very uniform. First, I get to work at 08:30 am. I get a cup of coffee and a class of water. Then I work. Mostly it is reading books and Stack Overflow. I code about 30% of my time. The rest is learning and communicating with the team. We have daily SCRUM meeting. Everyday I get help from my boss and colleagues on matters I cannot resolve on my own. I write them down in my notebook as Question and Answers, so I don’t forget. I also keep on Google Drive extensive modular documentation for myself with an Index so I always can find what I have learned within a few seconds. No more re-learning of what you have forgotten. I have about 34 self-written documentation by now and would be happy to make them open source if there is a demand. I spend about 20% of my time reading and updating those docs.

At 12:00 pretty precisely, I have lunch which is cooked by a private cook in our kitchen. We all each together, both management, CEO, and colleagues. Everyone is on the same table and the same room. We make fun and talk about work sometimes.

Then we chill at the terrace for a while. This is my favourite time of the day since I can get to know my colleagues and boss. After that, we get back to work and finish whatever I can and commit often to git. I then push a few times a day to GitHub private repo all my work at the company. At the end of the work day, around 17:30 or a bit before, I update my timesheet on JIRA and write down everything that other team members need to know on GitHub Readme of the private repo and on Confluence.

One thing is clear, you are reading code much more often and for a longer time when you are working. You will update documentation of your own code, if you don’t have to do that in a company, I have serious doubt about the quality of the code and how you communicate amongst each other as developers. I forget my own code within about 5 days of not reading it. Not sure about others but it cannot last long since coding is not procedural but rather based on experience. It is like playing the piano. If you don’t practice, even for one single day, you will loose a part of your knowledge and skill. So it is better to practice everyday 15 minutes than to practice on one day in a week for 10 hours.

If you wish to know more specific information about how it feels like to work in the real world as a software developer, please let me know.


Nice job! I’m just a new camper here, and I was wondering how did you find other campers to work with? I’m kinda getting the feeling that I am all alone learning stuff that haven’t paid off yet. Sometimes it’s just frustrating.


I am about to start the curriculum again. Where are you right now on the map?


Sounds good, I’m currently on Front End - Intermediate Algorithm Scripting - Convert HTML entities. I’m on Gitter if that’s something you’re using too.


Yes I am I need on gitter with he same byteknacker name. I am about to finish my touch typing course. Just need a few days and I will join you. I am pretty much at the same location on the map.