Dev Watch

Blog archive

From TrumpScript to Remote Jobs: 10 Cool Non-Code GitHub Repositories

The GitHub platform is indispensable to many developers who use it to host their open source code repositories, but did you know it's also used to present a lot of other kinds of interesting and useful information?

In fact, it's used to showcase lists of books, movies, recipes and so on; track the building of a house; find dates (of the social kind -- but there's plenty of date-pickers, too); do wedding logistics; check out baby names (see how those last three run together :) ) prepare for interviews; find remote jobs; check out Congressional districts; find emojis; tell jokes; and on and on and on....

Here's a look at 10 GitHub projects of the non-coding kind that you may find interesting.

Okay, I said non-code, right, and I'm totally breaking that rule right off the bat. But it's Trump -- how could I resist? No one respects coding like The Donald.

With the tagline, "Make Python great again," this project is described thusly:

TrumpScript is a language based upon the illustrious Donald Trump. As the undeniably best presidential candidate in the 2016 language, we found that the current field of programming languages does not include any that Trump's glorious golden combover would approve of.

TrumpScript is our solution to this. It's the programming language Trump would approve of. Just like he is going to make America great again, we hope our efforts will make programming great again.

A few of its top features:

  • No floating point numbers, only integers. America never does anything halfway.
  • All numbers must be strictly greater than 1 million. The small stuff is inconsequential to us.
  • There are no import statements allowed. All code has to be home-grown and American made.

You get the idea. At least the language isn't gated behind a giant wall -- and it could actually win ... something.

The Remote Freelancer
This project is a "List of community-curated resources to find topical remote freelance & contract work for software developers, web designers, and more!"

It was actually developed in response to a post on a coding-oriented social site that detailed a negative experience with a certain freelancer site. I'd name names, but from that post, it sounds like I don't want to get on the bad side of these guys.

The Remote Freelancer
The Remote Freelancer (source: GitHub)

"I wanted to create a list of additional resources that software developers can use to find freelance, nomadic and contract work," said the creator (the project is listed under the "engineerapart" repository, and its main contributor is "CodinRonan"). The project, updated just a few days ago and now sporting more than 3,000 stars, lists more than 30 sites for finding remote work, with accompanying short descriptions of each.

Curated List of Awesome Lists
There's an "awesomeness" meme going around GitHub, with zillions of "curated lists" of "awesomeness" or "awesome curated lists" or even "curated list of awesome awesomeness" and so on.

This project is the granddaddy of all of them, with more than 45,000 starts and more than 5,000 forks and 251 contributors.

It's a list of more lists than I care to count. Although there's a strong programming bent (languages, tools and so on), it also has lists for books, entertainment and even Pokémon GO resources (if anyone still cares about that dying fad).

It also includes "The awesome manifesto," which has deeply thought out guidance such as "only awesome is awesome." It even has an awesome badge. It's just awesome (I think).

Baby Names!
This project is just the ticket if you're expecting and want to find that perfect name for your coming child -- or just waste some time. It was created by Time Magazine to have "Fun with the Social Security Administration's baby name data."

It's basically a Node.js script to work with baby name data from the Social Security Administration, which, for example, tells you that the top 10 baby names for 2015 were:

Rank Male name Female name
1 Noah Emma
2 Liam Olivia
3 Mason Sophia
4 Jacob Ava
5 William Isabella
6 Ethan Mia
7 James Abigail
8 Alexander Emily
9 Michael Charlotte
10 Benjamin Harper

You can also look up popular names by birth year and do other cool investigations.

Awesome Programmers
Speaking of awesome, ever wonder who the best programmers throughout history were/are? If so, this project will provide some guidance.

Creator Reki Hattori describes it as: "A collection of software engineers that deserve to be in this collection. They are the most awesome programmers in history. Let's give them some respect."

It lists awesome/great programmers in many different categories, ranging from databases to programming languages to artificial intelligence.

In the latter category, for example, are more than two dozen entries, starting with Alan Turing ("The father of artificial intelligence, the creator of the Turing Test standard for which a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior is measured, and pioneered concepts of machines computing according to a set of rules.") and ending with Gerald Jay Sussman ("The creator of artificial intelligence based CAD technology, the contributor to AI research like Debugging Almost-Right Plans and dependency-based backtracking.").

You'll also find entries for famous programmers such as Richard Stallman, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan and even Jon Skeet, who has the most reputation points on Stack Overflow.

Programmer's Proverbs
Now that you've learned about some of the most illustrious programmers, you can check out popular programmer proverbs (if for no other reason than handy alliteration).

The description for this project reads:

Programming and development often teaches one wisdom that cannot be attained elsewhere. Coding and programming, as some have said, is a way of life, not just job. When you are a coder, that is a big part of who you are at work and outside of work. So, let's come together, and put down our wisdom for future generations to see and learn from.

The project is pretty self-explanatory, so here's a quick-hit 10 proverbs:

  • Dance like nobody is watching, code like everybody is.
  • A deployed MVP is worth two prototyped.
  • When you reach bearded-level, there are at least a hundred grey-beards above you.
  • A/B Test twice, deploy changes once.
  • Don't commit on master when drunk.
  • Sleep on a force push.
  • A git pull a day, keeps the doctor away.
  • Sometimes you have to cut legacy support to allow the new product to bloom.
  • More hours worked, more commits made. Mostly reverts and bug-causing features.
  • Even a greybeard will drop production DB.
Awesome Falsehoods
Yet another "awesome" list. But this project serves as a nice counterpart to programmer proverbs. If proverbs provide programming truths, here's the opposite.

This curated list project (can a list on GitHub be non-curated?) of "awesome articles about falsehoods programmers make about things which are simply untrue" contains sections on time, names, phone numbers, addresses, geography, gender and tech.

Being curious about falsehoods concerning gender, I found out the following aren't true:

  • Everyone is male.
  • Everyone is female.
  • People are either male or female.
  • People who are not male or female will be happy to be lumped together under 'other.'
  • A person’s gender never changes.
Google Interview University
"This is my multi-month study plan for going from web developer (self-taught, no CS degree) to Google software engineer," says project steward John Washam.

"This long list has been extracted and expanded from Google's coaching notes, so these are the things you need to know. There are extra items I added at the bottom that may come up in the interview or be helpful in solving a problem. Many items are from Steve Yegge's "Get that job at Google" and are reflected sometimes word-for-word in Google's coaching notes."

Surprisingly (at least to me), this project has more than 18,000 stars and nearly 3,000 forks. I didn't know there were that many people vying to become Google software engineers.

It's quite an extensive project for one man's personal mission, featuring sections on interview preparation, general knowledge about Google, deep dives into topics such as data structures, searching, sorting and so on. There a final review section, coding question practice and coding exercises and challenges.

There's even a "Did I Get the Job?" section. You'll have to check it out to see the answer to that question.

Meme v.2
This project provides a Meme Generator, the same tool that Vox Media uses "to create social sharing images."

Upon installation, it provides a localhost Web server that presents the tool, with which you can write a headline, download an image to be used as background, and adjust the font, effects, color and so on. I didn't go through the cloning, installation and such, but the project site pointed to an online example with the SB Nation brand. With that, I created this:

A Generated Meme
[Click on image for larger view.] A Generated Meme (source: David Ramel)

I always go to the file on a GitHub page to find out what the project is all about, and frankly, some of them are just terrible. The README is a great place to provide information about your project, but sometimes it just contains a few arcane instructions for installation or something with absolutely no context. (Horrible, just horrible. There needs to be an investigation into this. Under a new administration, I'm hoping all README's will be just the best README's.)

This project shows you how to avoid that, should you be planning on hosting a project on GitHub.

"This is written for module creators, for as a builder of modules, your job is to create something that will last," reads the well-written README for the Art of README. "This is an inherent motivation, even if the author has no intent of sharing their work. Once 6 months pass, a module without documentation begins to look new and unfamiliar."

Here, you'll learn about the six key elements of a great README: name, one-liner, usage, API, installation and license -- and lots more awesomeness.

Plenty More
There are plenty more awesome non-code GitHub repositories, of course, and you can find more by searching for the topic of your choice, using the Explore GitHub tool or checking out Trending repositories.

Posted by David Ramel on October 27, 2016