Open source software is a great concept. It brings out the best in people helping each other build something that can be used by anyone. That’s why it makes me happy when Microsoft announced that the Windows Calculator is now open source.

When people ask me to teach them programming. I tell them there’s no such thing. Of course, software development exists. But learning programming “in general” just doesn’t make sense.

You have to have a goal.

Most people who want to learn to write code do not really know why they want to learn it aside from the possibility of being employed in a “programming job”.

Fine, let’s say that’s the goal. Who doesn’t want to get paid right?

The software development industry is still a very large ecosystem that would make an expert from one corner look clueless when put on another.

The Calculator

Most people do not have this goal. So to help people start writing code, I give them one. I point them to some language tutorials and give them a goal. To build a calculator.

It doesn’t have to be as sophisticated as the Windows Calculator. It just needs to do basic operations and just learn from there.

As a matter of fact, writing a fully functional calculator app is no light task.

Windows Calculator

However, if you’re already a developer and you want to sharpen your skills a bit, contributing into the now-open-source Windows Calculator project on GitHub would be a good fit.

Microsoft is welcoming any kind of help from any developer on any skill level. From beginner (filing issues or helping solve the easier ones) to expert (add in new features and collaborate with their engineers).

The project is also great if you want to learn more about developing applications for Windows. You would be dealing with the latest tools and technologies for Windows like UWP and XAML.

If you need help getting started with programming, you can drop a comment below, send me an email, or join my Discord channel.