TL;DR? It’s awesome. Buy it right now.
I was looking to dip my toes into some sort of structured help with the summer training and open source in general, because while I knew what I wanted, I just didn’t know how to go about it.
And then I realised that one of our mentors had actually gone and written a whole book on the how to. So, I bought the paperback. The binding is really good, the paper really nice (unlike other tech books I’ve read) and the words large enough to read. I expect to get a lot of use, out of the book.
And lot of use is right. While it’s a slim volume and a pretty quick read, the book is pretty dense when it comes to the wisdom it imparts.
The book has a simple (yet substantial to execute) premise. You’ve just tipped your toe into programming, or you’ve learnt a new language, or you’ve probably written a few programs or maybe you’re just brand new. You want to explore the vast thrilling world that is Open Source Software. What now?
“i want 2 do project. tell me wat 2 do.” answers the “what now” in painstaking detail.
From communication (Mailing List Guidelines) to the importance of focus (Attention to Detail) to working with mentors (the Project chapters) to the tools (Methodology & tools) to the importance of sharpening the saw (Reading …) and finally the importance of your environment (Sustenance), the book covers the entire gamut that a student or a novice programmer with open source would go through.
Shakthi writes like he speaks; pithily, concisely with the weight of his experience behind his words.
The book is chockfull of quotes (from the Lady Lovelace to Menaechmus to Taleb) that lend heft to the chapters. The references at the end of each chapter will probably keep me busy for the next few months.
The book’ll save you enormous amounts of time and heartache, in your journey, were you to heed its advice. It’s that good.