Introduction to Open Source


Why Learn About Open Source?

Open source software is open to distribution and modification by anyone in the world - that could be you! Open source projects are not only a way to contribute to the free technology movement, but also a great way to experiment with new languages and frameworks in a welcoming community.

The open source community has created a wide array of projects from software to games to video editors to music to cryptocurrency! The open source community is truly everywhere, contributing to projects by giants like Google or adding to digital public goods for collaborative healthcare efforts worldwide.

Take-Away Skills

This course will prepare you to make your first contribution to an open source project on GitHub. We will talk through examples of open source projects and their general skeleton, including how to read and write README’s, find licenses, and create and respond to public GitHub issues. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain where open source projects are hosted and how to read an open source project’s standard documentation.
  • Find good first contributions to an open source project’s community, usually through the GitHub issues tab.
  • Contribute to an open source project through code, documentation, or even reporting bugs.
  • Learn some common licenses used in open source projects like GPL, MIT, and Apache.
  • Create and maintain your own open source project.

Codecademy courses have been taken by employees at

Google LogoFacebook LogoNASA LogoIBM LogoDropbox Logo
  1. 1
    Learn about what open source is and why it’s important!
  2. 2
    Learn about how to navigate all the documentation of an open source project.
  3. 3
    Learn about the different ways you can contribute to an open source project!
  4. 4
    Learn about the benefits of making your project open source and how to maintain an open source project.
  5. 5
    Where should you look to contribute to your first open source project?

How you'll master it

Stress-test your knowledge with quizzes that help commit syntax to memory

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— Madelyn, Pinterest

I know from first-hand experience that you can go in knowing zero, nothing, and just get a grasp on everything as you go and start building right away.

Course Description

Learn how to contribute to, create, and maintain open source projects!


Earn a certificate of completion
2 hours to complete in total

1 article, 1 quiz

Learn about how to navigate all the documentation of an open source project.

1 article, 1 video, 1 quiz

2 articles, 1 video, 1 quiz

2 articles

1 informational