by Quincy Larson

Introducing Programmer Playing Cards

Learn about programmer history while you play classic card games like Poker, Blackjack, and Solitaire

Eight of the 54 cards in the Programmer Playing Cards deck

Note: We’re shipping limited edition decks of these Programmer Playing Cards (on a water-proof PVC card stock!) to freeCodeCamp.org’s awesome supporters. Read on for details on how to claim a deck of your own.

I’m proud to announce the freeCodeCamp.org community’s latest project — Programmer Playing Cards!

This is a full deck of 54 playing cards — each card featuring an important programmer from technology history.

You can use Programmer Playing Cards to play all the classic games people play with cards — Poker, Blackjack, Solitaire, and even those late night drinking games (with shots of Tabasco sauce, of course).

While you’re playing, you can marvel at the accomplishments of these programmers who pioneered the techniques and technologies modern programmers depend upon today.

Each card contains the programmer’s photo, a list of their major accomplishments, and a fun quotation from them.

The cards are ordered by the programmer’s date of birth, with earlier programmers occupying the Aces and Kings of each suit, and newer programmers filling out the 3s and 2s.

All the greats are in here — from history’s first programmer, Ada Lovelace, on down to more contemporary programmers, like blockchain inventor Satoshi Nakamoto.

There have been so many great programmers throughout history, it was hard to decide on just 54 of them. But freeCodeCamp editor Abigail Rennemeyer and I put together a list of candidates.

We chose good creative-commons licensed photos of each programmer, decided which achievements we wanted to highlight, then dug through interviews to find their choicest quotes.

Then freeCodeCamp contributor Phoenix Abhishek laid these cards out in a clean, minimalist design, and a crisp monospace font.

When you use Programmer Playing Cards, you and your friends will get tons of exposure to these programmer greats. Just by seeing their names and faces over and over as you play, you’ll come to know and appreciate many of the highlights of programming history.

These aren’t your grandpa’s paper playing cards.

These aren’t just any playing cards — we’re printing them on 100% polyvinyl carbonate, a flexible polymer more commonly known as PVC.

A lot of the professional card players prefer playing with PVC cards, and a lot of magicians prefer them, too.

Why? Because PVC is much heavier — the 54 card deck weighs 166 grams (6 ounces).

PVC cards are also a lot more durable. You can bend them in half, or wash them in the sink if you get barbecue sauce on them.

I even tried (unsuccessfully) to burn one using a lighter.

Here’s a video of me demonstrating the build quality and durability of these cards.

Normally, high-end PVC playing cards like this cost nearly $20 per deck. But if you take the steps below, we’ll ship you a limited edition deck of PVC Programmer Playing Cards to your door for free.

Here’s how to get your own limited edition deck of Programmer Playing Cards shipped straight to your door.

We’ll ship these to you wherever you are in the world, for free, once we’ve finished manufacturing them.

Just complete the following two steps.

Step #1: Become a supporter of freeCodeCamp.org

Supporters are the friendly people who donate $5 / month to freeCodeCamp.org. They make all of this possible!

freeCodeCamp.org is a a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so your donations are tax-deductible in many countries, including the United States.

If you’re already one of the 4,000 people who support freeCodeCamp, congratulations — move on to step 2!

Otherwise, please become a supporter here.

You can stop your donations at any time, but in order to be eligible for your deck of Programmer Playing Cards, you must remain a supporter from December 2018 through at least the end of April 2019, when we mail these out. (This is to make sure we can at least recoup the cost of manufacturing these cards and shipping them to you.)

Step #2: Fill out this form

Once you’ve completed step #1 and are a supporter of freeCodeCamp.org, please take a moment to fill out this form so we know how to contact you and where to mail your limited edition deck of Programmer Playing Cards.

This will also help us figure out how many decks we need to manufacture so we can budget accordingly.

Classic games with classic programmers

We’re looking forward to shuffling up some Programmer Playing Cards at future freeCodeCamp events and playing a few hands of poker.

Until then, happy holidays and happy coding!