Forge Your Future with Open Source

Build Your Skills. Build Your Network. Build the Future of Technology.


Free and open source is the foundation of software development, and it’s built by people just like you. Discover the fundamental tenets that drive the movement. Take control of your career by selecting the right project to meet your professional goals. Master the language and avoid the pitfalls that typically ensnare new contributors. Join a community of like-minded people and change the world. Programmers, writers, designers, and everyone interested in software will make their mark through free and open source software contributions.

BookAuthority Ranked #1 of Best New Software Development Books to Read in 2018.

The best new Software Development books

Customer Reviews

This book has needed to exist for a long time. Newcomers to free and open source software now have a thorough guide to participation, and the author’s real-world experience shows on every page. Among the book’s strengths is that it not only explains what steps to take (and their variants), but also shows new contributors how things look from the project’s point of view. I hope and expect to see this book referred to by contributors to projects across the internet.

- Karl Fogel

Partner, Open Tech Strategies, LLC

If you ever wished you could have a compendium of HOWTO open source from one of the most knowledgeable folks in this biz, this is the book for you. Vicky is an absolute gem and has successfully distilled decades of knowledge into an easy-toaccess format that should be required reading for anyone wanting to get into FOSS.

- Katie McLaughlin

Director, Django Software Foundation, Python Software Foundation

The next time someone tells me they want to learn more about open source, I’ll have the perfect book recommendation. Vicky has written the concise, practical guidebook we were missing. Forge Your Future with Open Source is an excellent quick-start guide for anyone stepping into the world of open source.

- Rikki Endsley

Community Manager,, Red Hat

Wonderfully readable, not only as a practical manual, but as an engaging and inspirational introduction to the world of free software, one practical and peopleoriented example at a time. This is the book I wish I had read many years ago.

- Chris Lamb

Debian Project Leader

I’ve been working in open source for almost two decades. I went to Microsoft a decade ago to open-source .NET and C#. I wish I’d had a copy of VM’s book. This book offers valuable historical context and practical guidelines on how and when to work on an Open Source project. Forge Your Future with Open Source will no doubt empower the next generation of contributors and I’m envious of their bright futures!

- Scott Hanselman

Program Partner Manager, Open Source .NET, Microsoft

Vicky’s book is the “Goldilocks” guide to participating in open source: just the right information, with neither too much obscure detail nor too little actionable advice. I look forward to recommending it to others.

- Cat Allman

Board Member, USENIX

Contributing to a free software project is one of the best ways to help the free software movement, and this book is the comprehensive, self-contained guide you need to get started. Brasseur skillfully balances depth and breadth, homing in on key points around the mechanics of contributing as well as the oft-neglected meta areas of effective communication, licensing, and employment ramifications.

- John Sullivan

Debian Developer

Forge Your Future with Open Source goes where no book has gone before, clearly teaching how to get started as a contributor to open source, explaining why contributing is valuable and rewarding, and exploring the technical and social challenges both new and experienced contributors face, in an honest and practical way.

- Allison Randal

Board Member, Open Source Initiative

In her inimitable style, VM Brasseur brings a useful cheat sheet for contributing to free and open source software. There is probably something in this book for everyone to learn.

- Karen Sandler

Co-Organizer, Outreachy

Vicky unflaggingly reminds us that creating software is a liberal art—and the foundational art of Open Source is courtesy. If every reader were to practice some of the advice in this book, the software world would be a more welcoming place.

- Robert “r0ml” Lefkowitz

Distinguished Engineer, ACM

Open Source runs most of the technology world, from mobile phones to the internet. Despite it being open, there are many hidden rules in how teams work together. Vicky’s glorious book removes the arcane barriers surrounding this field and takes us along a journey into Open Source from the practice, the culture, the community, the history, the motivation, and even how we talk to each other. It is a book built on years of practice that not only needed to be written but deserves to be read by anyone wanting to contribute to this field.

- Simon Wardley

Researcher, Leading Edge Forum

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