Learn how to code, for free, through real-world experiences, and with access to a community of programmers. That is the goal of this week’s featured GitHub Project: Free Code Camp.

According to a recent survey by Stack Overflow, almost half of developers are self-taught. Being able to teach yourself how to write code is a feat within itself, but most companies are looking beyond your education—mainly your job experiences—when they are considering you as a potential employee. Free Code Camp aims to give developers that kind of real-world job experience by providing a community where programmers can learn to write code while building projects for nonprofit organizations.

“Our campers (students) start by working through our free, self-paced, browser-based curriculum,” the project writes on its GitHub page. “Next, they build several practice projects. Finally, we pair two campers together with a stakeholder from a nonprofit organization, and help them build the solution the nonprofit has requested.”

According to Free Code Camp, the benefits of joining its community include:

  • Learning skills such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, databases, Git, Node.js, Angular.js and agile
  • Being connected to thousands of software development professionals
  • Working on free and open-source projects
  • Learning to code at your own pace at the comfort of your own home
  • Real-time help

In addition, Free Code Camp says it conditions its community members for a career in software engineering. Or, if you are a nonprofit organization, you can request help from the community.

Top 5 projects trending on GitHub this week
Lantern: A free desktop application designed to provide open Internet to users in censored areas.

#2. Hackpad: A Web-based real-time wiki, recently acquired by Dropbox.

#3. GitUp: A Git interface that aims to make Git painless. It features a live and interactive repo graph, unlimited undo and redo, instant search, and a fast UI.

#4. Data Analysis and Machine Learning Projects: Computer scientist Randy Olson’s repository for teaching materials, code, and data from his data analysis and machine learning projects.

#5. Git Radar: “A heads up display for Git.”