Interesting projects on Read the Docs: Teaching

As the maintainer of Read the Docs, I spend a lot of time looking through random projects, and getting inspired. People have been doing lots of interesting things with the project, and I’d like to highlight some of them.

This edition is focused on teaching. All of these projects are trying to teach something, and doing it in different ways. Some are community contributed guides that have many authors, where some are a single person trying to distill their experience into something valuable for others.

The projects mentioned here will be featured on the homepage of Read the Docs until I do another posting, where those new projects will take their place.

Little books of R

The Little Books of R were some of the first books that I was aware of on Read the Docs. They are great little manuals on things that you can do with the R programming language, often used for modeling and graphics.

There are a few different books, including how to use R with:

These books are perfect examples of what publishing online provides. Short and sweet, to a specific niche, and easily available.

Ops School

Ops School is an attempt at providing a cirriculum for someone interested in learning Systems Administration. It’s answering the question of “What do I need to know to get a junior sysadmin job” that many people have before starting into a career.

It takes a lot of knowledge that takes years to gather from experience and attempts to distill it down into a form that is easily referencable. As this project matures, it will provide a valuable resource for a lot of information around the running of systems.

The project is still in development, and is actively seeking contributors.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python

The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a great project from the Python community. It’s goal is to provide knowledge on best practices on the daily usage of the Python language. It is trying to answer the question “What do I need to know that I don’t know I need to know.” Known more colloquially as unknown unknown’s, this knowledge is the hardest to gain. Having a guide from the community about the things that you should probably know about is invaluable as a new, or even experienced member of that community.

This project is also in active development.

Thoughts on RESTful API Design

These thoughts are a great collection of experience from someone who has built production REST APIs. If you are tasked with creating an API for a web site, it’s a great read. It provides a good framework for understanding how the API fits in with the rest of the application, as well as what makes a good API.

Conclusion

I love the idea of Read the Docs as a medium of teaching, as well as just documenting software projects. Please let me know of other interesting projects that you’ve found, and I can include them. Raising awareness of these great resources is valuable, and hopefully it will reach more people who can learn from them.

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Published 2012-12-01

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