15 Most Popular GitHub Repositories Every Developer Should Know

As the most popular Git repository hosting platform, GitHub hosts more than 300 million repositories with a global community of over 100 million developers. The platform has become one of the best sources for free and useful software and web development resources.

However, with so many projects available, finding the best git repository for your needs can be a daunting task. This is why we have compiled 15 of the most popular GitHub repos, ranked from the most starred to the least.

We also briefly described each GitHub repo and added its number of forks. Hopefully, this list can help you choose the best resources to develop and host your site.

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The following are some of the most starred repositories offering valuable learning materials for aspiring and professional developers.

1. freeCodeCamp/freeCodeCamp

freeCodeCamp/freeCodeCamp GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 362,000
  • Forks: 31,200

freeCodeCamp is the most starred repository on GitHub. It is the backend for the main freeCodeCamp website that offers numerous free computer science learning materials.

These include over 9,000 tutorials and 11 core certifications, ranging from responsive web design to machine learning with Python.

freeCodeCamp is a charitable organization that runs on donor and community support, enabling users to contribute to the site’s codebase.

2. EbookFoundation/free-programming-books

EbookFoundation/free-programming-books GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 269,000
  • Forks: 54,100

Run by the Free Ebook Foundation, this popular repository has become one of the top GitHub projects. It provides a comprehensive list of free learning resources in numerous languages.

In addition to books, this project maintains a list of other educational materials like free online courses, cheat sheets, podcasts, screencasts, problem sets, and code playgrounds.

3. jwasham/coding-interview-university

 jwasham/coding-interview-university GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 250,000
  • Forks: 66,200

The Coding Interview University repository by jwasham is a computer science study plan for those interested in pursuing a career as a software engineer.

The plan contains carefully curated study materials like books, practice websites, and video tutorials.

It also includes tips and tricks on updating your resume, finding a software engineering job, and preparing for a technical interview.

4. sindresorhus/awesome

sindresorhus/awesome GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 241,000
  • Forks: 25,000

The Awesome repository is a community of knowledgeable or passionate people that curate lists on various topics, from programming to entertainment, to help others learn.

Each list contains recommended items like websites, resources, apps, templates, events, companies, organizations, TV shows, movies, and books.

5. kamranahmedse/developer-roadmap

kamranahmedse/developer-roadmap GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 232,000
  • Forks: 33,100

The Developer Roadmap repository serves as the backend for Roadmap, an educational site offering free learning materials.

It is one of the most popular open-source repositories on GitHub, guiding users through their chosen learning paths to become web developers.

This community-supported project offers various learning roadmaps divided into role and skill-based categories.

6. public-apis/public-apis

public-apis/public-apis GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 230,000
  • Forks: 26,200

This popular GitHub repository contains a list of free Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) developers can use in web and software development.

There are over 1,400 APIs available, divided into 50 categories. Examples of the categories include animal, finance, and photography.

These APIs serve a wide range of purposes. For example, FishWatch provides information and photos of various fish, while PhotoRoom removes backgrounds from images.

7. donnemartin/system-design-primer

The study guide flowchart featured in the donnemartin/system-design-primer GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 213,000
  • Forks: 38,000

The System Design Primer repository is a top open-source project that offers a comprehensive collection of educational materials for understanding large-scale system design.

The index is divided into several sections that contain links leading to various free learning resources.

This repository also offers flashcards, interactive coding challenges, and system design interview preparation questions.

8. facebook/react

facebook/react GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 203,000
  • Forks: 42,200

Created by an engineer at Meta, React is a JavaScript library people use for building user interfaces.

This GitHub repository serves as the backend for the main ReactJS website and a place to receive community contributions for the library’s continuous improvement.

Note that ReactJS or React is different from React Native, a framework people use to build mobile instead of web applications.

9. codecrafters-io/build-your-own-x

codecrafters-io/build-your-own-x GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 192,000
  • Forks: 18,700

The Build Your Own X GitHub repository contains step-by-step guides to help users recreate technologies from scratch using different programming languages.

It is a great learning tool for a software or web developer who wants to learn how to build various applications or software and understand how they work.

Examples of some technologies to create include a 3D renderer and a front-end framework.

10. tensorflow/tensorflow

tensorflow/tensorflow GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 172,000
  • Forks: 87,900

TensorFlow is an end-to-end machine-learning framework developed by Google researchers. It has a comprehensive ecosystem of development tools, libraries, and community resources.

As one of the top open-source projects, the creators of TensorFlow welcome community contributions and patches.

The repository also contains installation guides, resources, and courses.

11. getify/You-Dont-Know-JS

getify/You-Dont-Know-JS GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 165,000
  • Forks: 32,200

This public GitHub repository serves as the digital version of the You Don’t Know JS Yet book series, which explains the mechanism of the JavaScript programming language.

Although the physical copies of the second edition books are sold through retail sources, you can still read them for free on this repository.

12. trekhleb/javascript-algorithms

trekhleb/javascript-algorithms GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 164,000
  • Forks: 27,100

This repository covers various examples of popular data structures and algorithms implemented in JavaScript.

Each item has its own README file containing explanations, code snippets, and links to further readings.

Algorithms and data structures on the list are all labeled Beginner or Advanced, helping users choose a suitable item.

13. twbs/bootstrap

twbs/bootstrap GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 162,000
  • Forks: 77,900

Bootstrap is an HTML, CSS, and JavaScript framework for developing responsive and mobile-first web projects.

This repository is the backend for the main Bootstrap website. It provides installation guidelines, documentation, and community-related links.

Through this repo, users can report bugs, request features, and keep up with the development process for the latest Bootstrap releases.

14. vinta/awesome-python

vinta/awesome-python GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 159,000
  • Forks: 22,700

Python is one of the best programming languages to learn due to its flexibility.

As a result, many Python frameworks, libraries, and software are available to help speed up web or software development. The Awesome Python repository curates all of these developer resources in one place.

It also lists Python learning materials in the form of books, websites, newsletters, and podcasts. The creator welcomes contributions, letting people submit one resource link per pull request.

15. ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh

ohmyzsh/ohmyzsh GitHub repository

Repo Stats:

  • Stars: 156,000
  • Forks: 25,000

Oh My Zsh is a community-driven framework for zsh configuration management.

It contains over 300 optional plugins, over 140 themes, and an auto-update tool to help users keep up with updates from over 2,000 contributors.

The GitHub repository for this framework contains guides on installation, plugin usage, theme selection, automatic or manual update requests, and community contribution.

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There are millions of GitHub repositories listing valuable developer tools and resources. Due to these numerous options, it is critical to choose repos that are most suitable for the project you are developing.

If you still have trouble making your pick, take a look at our final recommendations of the most popular open-source projects on GitHub:

We hope this article has helped you pick the best open-source project to streamline your development process. Good luck.

This section answers some of the most commonly asked questions regarding popular repositories on GitHub.

What Is a GitHub Repository? 

A GitHub repository is a storage unit developers use to store their web project’s files, making it an excellent tool for project management and developer collaboration. Others can contribute to a public Git repository by proposing changes via pull requests. Developers typically use Git commands to create or modify code.

How Do I Find Cool Projects on GitHub?

Find cool projects on GitHub by accessing the Topics page. If you are interested in a specific topic, type github.com/topics/<topic> into your browser. For example, you can visit github.com/topics/android to find Android-related projects. Alternatively, search for repositories using combinations of various qualifiers.

The author

Tashia T.

Tashia is passionate about all things website development, digital marketing, and eCommerce. She strives to spread her knowledge and help people navigate the online world through her words, one article at a time.