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Top 15 Open Source Projects for Beginners

Top 15 Open Source Projects for Beginners

Are you new to coding and want to change things? Open source projects are the perfect place to start! These collaborative projects let you improve your skills, build a portfolio, and join a welcoming community. In this article, we’ll take a look at 15 fantastic beginner-friendly open source projects in 2024 – get ready to learn, grow, and contribute to the amazing world of open source!

What is an Open Source Project?

Think of software as a set of instructions a computer follows, like a recipe for a program. In an open-source project, these instructions (the source code) are open for anyone to view, use, and change. This is fundamentally different from traditional software, where the code is a closely guarded secret.

Open-source projects thrive on collaboration. Programmers from all over the world can contribute to the same project, suggesting improvements, fixing problems, and building new features. This teamwork often leads to better software that develops faster. Because there’s no single company controlling the code, open-source software is often free to use. That means there’s less of a barrier for individuals, students, or businesses on a tight budget to get great tools.

The open nature of these projects also allows customization. If a user or a company has specific needs, they can alter the software to tailor it exactly to their use case.

Many powerful and widely used technologies exist thanks to open source. The Linux operating system, the Firefox web browser, and popular programming languages like Python are prime examples of the great things that can happen when a community of developers builds software together.

Why Contribute to Open Source Projects?

Want to boost your tech skills, collaborate with cool people, and even help build the future? Join the open-source project party! Here’s why:

  • Learn like a pro: Contributing to open source projects helps you get hands-on with real tech tools, just like working on a giant, shared project. No textbooks here, just real-world learning from pros!
  • Make your mark: See your code. Become part of something awesome, used by people around the world. It’s like leaving your signature on a digital masterpiece!
  • Level up your career: Show off your skills with contributions to famous projects and network with other tech wizards. Think “impress future employers”!
  • More than just tech: Have fun, make friends, and be part of a global movement that’s all about sharing and building together. It’s like a giant tech club for everyone!

So, what are you waiting for? Jump in, contribute your talents, and join the open-source project adventure!

Python Open Source Projects

python open source project

Python is known as a multipurpose programming language, and it is built as a licensed open source programming technology approved by the OSI. Its background as an open source project allows many of its libraries and tools to be open source too. We look at some of the best and most stable open-source projects built with Python.

1. Django

Django is a high-level web framework known for its clean syntax and rapid development capabilities. Used by major sites like Instagram and Mozilla.

Areas you can add to:

  • Bug fixes.
  • Documentation improvements.
  • Adding to the core features.
  • Testing
  • Creating new components.

2. NumPy

Numpy is a fundamental library for scientific computing in Python. If your niche is statistics and big data, then working on the Numpy open source project is something you should delve into as it will provide you with insights into multidimensional array and matrix operations.

Areas of contribution:

  • Optimizing existing code for smooth operation.
  • Adding new mathematical functions should be done with care.
  • If you’re a tech writer, you can contribute to its documentation.
  • Testing functionalities and bug fixes.

3. TensorFlow

As a machine learning enthusiast, TensorFlow is an open-source project library for machine learning and deep learning is one of the best open source projects you can collaborate on due to its versatile offering of various tools and machine learning algorithms to help boost your knowledge about the underlying methods of machine learning.

Areas you might be interested in:

  • Developing new machine learning features.
  • Looking out for bugs to fix.
  • Contributing to documentation.

4. Flask

As a backend web developer, you can also contribute to an open-source project in Python with Flask. This lightweight and flexible web tool is used for building web applications and APIs. It offers quick development, faster loading times, and easy customization.

Areas you might be interested in:

  • Expanding framework functionalities.
  • Fixing bugs.
  • improving documentation.
  • Contributing to new extensions.

5. Scikit-learn

Scikit-learn is another machine-learning tool from Python. It helps Python programmers develop a comprehensive machine-learning library with the implementation of various algorithms for classification, regression, clustering, and more.

Areas of contribution:

  • Developing new machine learning algorithms.
  • Improving existing models.
  • Working on performance optimization.
  • Contributing to documentation.

C++ Open Source Projects

c++ open source projects

C++ is a versatile programming language used for many things, like software and game development. It’s an open-source project itself, so programmers can help improve its libraries by adding custom features and fixing issues. This teamwork makes C++ better for everyone. Here are five C++ open-source projects that developers can contribute to.

1. Qt

Qt is an open source project from C++ that is used for creating applications that can run on many different devices, including computers, phones, and embedded systems. It has a system for designing user interfaces that is easy to use, and it provides a lot of tools for developers to use.

Potential areas of contribution:

  • Contributing to new modules and UI functionalities
  • Fixing bugs.
  • Improve documentation and participate in platform maintenance and testing.

2. OpenCV

Unlock the power of vision with this open-source web library! OpenCV lets you analyze images and videos in real-time, find objects, etc.

Get involved by:

  • Adding cool new features for computer vision.
  • Making existing features even better.
  • Helping test and fix bugs.
  • Writing clear instructions for everyone.

3. VTK

Visualize anything with VTK, the open-source tool! VTK is a free toolkit that helps you turn complex data into clear pictures and videos. Think 3D models, scientific charts, and even analyzing images! Many scientists use VTK to understand their research better.

Want to help make VTK better? Here’s how:

  • Create new filters. Imagine adding tools to display data in unique ways!
  • Help everyone see their results quicker by fixing problems.
  • Research cool ways to use VTK and share your discoveries!
  • Help others learn VTK by explaining things simply.


Make code run super fast with this open-source project! LLVM helps different programming languages work better and faster. Imagine adding special tricks to programs to make them run like lightning!

You can help by:

  • Finding ways to make programs run even faster!
  • Help more people use this project by making it work with new languages!
  • Catch any problems and make the project smoother!
  • Help others understand how to use this powerful tool!


Build awesome games with this easy-to-use open source project! The SFML library is like a toolbox for making games! It has everything you need: pictures, sounds, controllers, and even ways to connect players online.

Want to help make it better? Here’s how:

  • Add new tricks to the toolbox for even more creative games!
  • Find any problems and make the toolbox work even smoother!
  • Write clear instructions so everyone can make awesome games!

With your help, this library can be the ultimate game-making kit!

Java Open Source Projects

java open source projects

Java is a popular programming language used for making apps on different devices. It’s easy to read, reliable and works on many platforms. People who are just starting to code or are experienced can use it easily.

1. Spring Boot

Build fast and easy cloud apps with this powerful Java framework! Spring Boot helps create “cloud-y” apps (like mini-apps that work together) using Java. It’s super quick to build them and doesn’t require tons of setup.

Want to help? You can:

  • Add new features to build different parts of cloud apps!
  • Help people build cooler cloud apps with new features.

By joining in, you can make Spring Boot even better and help people build amazing cloud apps faster!

2. Apache Kafka

Make data move like magic with Apache Kafka! Imagine a river of information flowing constantly, carrying important updates and messages. That’s what Apache Kafka helps manage! It’s one of the free and open-source projects from Java that keeps this data river flowing smoothly and quickly.

Apache Kafka is a powerful tool, but it thrives on community involvement. Here’s how you can help shape this amazing project:

  • Use Kafka in your projects. Did you find a glitch? Report it in detail on the Apache Kafka issue tracker. Help developers reproduce and fix the problem.
  • Is something unclear in the documentation? Improve it! Make Kafka easier to understand for everyone.
  • Did you solve a tricky Kafka problem? Write a blog post, or tutorial, or answer questions on forums to help others.
  • Check out the list of beginner-friendly issues on the Apache Kafka Jira. These are a great way to start contributing code.
  • Do you have an idea to make Kafka better? Write a Kafka Improvement Proposal (KIP) and discuss it with the community.

3. Helidon

Build mini-apps like building blocks with Helidon! Think of tiny apps working together, each doing one small thing really well. That’s what Helidon helps you build, using a special “Java language.” Imagine creating these mini-apps quickly and easily, like putting together building blocks!

Want to help make Helidon better? You can:

  • Enhance Helidon SE or MP code, add features, and improve performance.
  • Create connectors for databases, cloud services, and other tools.
  • Develop sample apps and tutorials that demonstrate Helidon’s power.
  • Find issues, provide detailed descriptions, and help test fixes.
  • Improve documentation, write blog posts, or answer questions in forums.

4. NetBeans

Imagine having a magic environment with all the tools you need to create incredible Java apps. That’s what NetBeans is like! It’s free, easy to use, and helps you code better in Java.

You can contribute to it by:

  • Think of cool tools to make building apps even easier!
  • Find any small problems and make the magic box work even smoother!
  • Write clear instructions so everyone can build awesome apps too!

5. Elasticsearch

Unleash the power of search with Elasticsearch! Imagine having a super-fast search engine for your website, app, or massive datasets. Elasticsearch excels at finding exactly what you need within mountains of information. It’s powerful, flexible, and built with Java.

Want to help Elasticsearch become even more amazing? Here’s how:

  • Improve how Elasticsearch analyzes text, handles different languages, or suggests search results.
  • Help make searches even faster and more efficient, especially with huge amounts of data.
  • Create plugins or integrations that make using Elasticsearch easier for everyone.
  • Report bugs, test fixes, and help developers keep Elasticsearch running smoothly.
  • Spread the word! Write tutorials, blog posts, or answer questions to help others get the most from Elasticsearch.

Leverage the Open-Source Technology Behind ZEGOCLOUD

ZEGOCLOUD is a real-time communication platform, used by programmers to add voice messaging and real-time features to their C++ projects, front end projects, full stack projects, and so on. Besides being a great tool for live projects, ZEGOCLOUD is also an open-source project. This means that the code that powers it in the background is open for developers to contribute. This means that connecting it with other open source web development projects is a pretty easy thing to do, as there are minimal restrictions on its use.

zegocloud for open source projects

As a web developer, here’s how you can use ZEGOCLOUD’s open source code to build amazing things:

  • Build it your way: Unlike locked-up codes, ZEGOCLOUD lets you change things around to fit your needs perfectly. Imagine adding cool features or trying out new ideas freely!
  • Start faster: There is no need to build everything from scratch! Reuse existing code from the open-source community and focus on making your app truly special.
  • Learn from the best: Get help from tons of other developers in the ZEGOCLOUD open community. Ask questions, share tips, and become coding rock stars together!
  • Save some bucks: Open-source means affordable, or even free! This lets more people play and create, making the communication world even cooler.

So, are you ready to join the ZEGOCLOUD open-source adventure? Let’s build something amazing!


The tools and projects listed in this blog are both suitable as both open source projects for beginners and even seasoned programmers. You have nothing to worry about. Do the ones you can do, try to understand how the code works, and level up from there.

Open source web projects are one of the best ways to work on something big in a small way. Collaboration over competition always.

Don’t forget to utilize ZEGOCLOUD’s open source SDK to learn more about how real-time video calls and voice calls work. Sign up to get 10,000 free minutes on ZEGOCLOUD!

zegocloud sdk

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