Learn through doing with ‘Build Your Own X’

Swiss developer Daniel Stefanovic has created an impressive resource for developers, called Build Your Own X. This GitHub repository is a carefully vetted list of tutorials, designed to help you actually understand a topic by building a simple – yet functional – implementation.

The idea

For example, if you wanted to know more about how blockchain or cryptocurrencies work, you could create your own in an afternoon. Going through that process means that you can't just fake understanding; you're pushed to really demonstrate your knowledge of both the concept and the implementation.

The quote at the top of the page really says it all:

Topics, languages and sub-topics

Scrolling through the Build Your Own X page is an interesting glimpse at what's popular right now, including classic Computer Science fare and more recent development trends. The former includes building your own operating system, web server or library, while the latter ticks off neural networks, bots and blockchains.

As well as offering a nice range of topics, there are plenty of languages available for most options so you can learn where you're most comfortable. For example, the 'Build Your Own Bot' category includes Haskell, Java, four Node.js examples, PHP, six Python implementations and R.

The different implementations in the same language allow you to find an author that suits you, but they also allow for more tailored content. Build Your Own Bot includes bots for IRC, Twitter, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Discord, Slack, Reddit and even cryptocurrency trading.

Improving the resource

Of course, the Build Your Own X project isn't a one-man show. Mr. Stefanovic is welcoming contributions via the GitHub page, so if you've spotted (or written!) a worthy tutorial you can suggest adding it to the page in order to offer more (or better) options.

The list has already undergone 73 revisions at the time of writing, so hopefully we will see this page continue to develop over time. Seeing all of these options in one place is quite inspirational, and should motivate developers to step outside their comfort zone and try something new.

What's your favourite tutorial from the Build Your Own X project? Let us know in the comments.

Body image credit: Dani Stefanovic 

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