How well do you really know the tools you use every day to write code with?
That’s the question MIT wants to answer with their Missing Semester lectures. Most programmers are taught to be proficient in programming logic and how to code in at least one programming language. What is often lacking, is computing ecosystem literacy.
Computing ecosystem literacy?
To code, there are certain tools and systems that make a programmer’s life easier. For example, using Git for version control. Or use the command line to automate certain tasks. The thing is, most programmers learn the basics of these tools. Sometimes it’s because to get their daily work done, all they need is the basics. And sometimes it’s because these tools can be very intimidating (I mean, just Google “how to exit Vim memes”).
Mastering the missing tools
With the Missing Semester lectures, you can get a sense of how much more you could be doing with these tools. The aim is to make you feel more comfortable using intimidating tools like the Shell or Vim and maximize your workflow.
Since I had a couple of days in between courses, I decided to pick up a couple of these lectures too. Even though they’re probably a bit too high-level for me now, as I’m only a beginner web dev student, I can grasp enough of it to understand how Shell commands can be used.
I’ll probably pick up the Git/version control lecture soon too. I’ve recently begun to use Git in my own class projects together with Github and Github pages. I may or may not have had a couple of hiccups, so… there might be a couple of best practices I can learn more about.
Where to find the Missing Semester lectures
MIT has made these lectures as accessible as possible. The lectures themselves were recorded at MIT in 2020.
You can find the Missing Semester lectures for free here: https://missing.csail.mit.edu.
There is also a Youtube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuXy5tCgEninup9cGplbiFw