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A video course to help scientists and science majors get up to speed with the command line, fast.
A video course to help scientists and science majors get up to speed with the command line, fast.
A video course to help scientists and science majors get up to speed with the command line, fast.
68 backers pledged $2,605 to help bring this project to life.

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Learn the Command Line ... for Science!

$2,605

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The class was funded! You can take it here.

Start from zero

This video course is designed for scientists with little or no programming experience. It's okay if you've never even touched the command line (or if you did once but it felt icky).

Gain super powers

You'll have fun learning a new, powerful way of communicating with your computer. Along the way, you'll acquire access to a whole world of amazing open source data and software. Who knows what you'll do next?

Course outline

Here's a list of the major course sections.

  • Intro and setup (OSX, Windows and Linux)
  • Navigation; managing and reading files
  • Installing software
  • Vim (part 1)
  • Customizing your environment (part 1)
  • Sed, grep and pipes
  • Vim (part 2)
  • Customizing your environment (part 2)
  • Reading docs
  • Case study: bioinformatics
  • Case study: astronomy
  • Next steps

Why am I doing this?

I'm creating this course because Science. For real, though, every branch of science has a growing computational component, but traditional science education is lagging behind. If you're a scientist, you don't necessarily need to learn to code, but you do need to level up your computer skills. That's what this course is about.

Think about it -- you may understand mitosis, or RNA transcription, or galaxy formation, or covalent bonds, but how well do you understand what's going on inside your computer? Learning the command line is the first step toward a healthier relationship with your machine. It's great preparation for learning to code. It puts a TON of free, open source scientific computing tools (and infrastructure) at your fingertips. And it's fun!

I've been creating and sharing educational materials to help scientists learn coding for a while now, on my site codenhance.com -- take a look if you want to get an idea of what the class will be like.

Command Line Demo Animated Gif
Command Line Demo Animated Gif

So make 2016 the year you finally learn the command line. This course is custom designed for scientific computing -- that's why it goes beyond simple navigation and file operations to include installing software and even building programs from source code. Get up to speed with your colleagues, fancy up your resume, and become a part of the scientific computing community. It's easier than you think!

Risks and challenges

While the materials are already well underway, it will definitely take time to polish them before they're ready. That's why all the expected delivery dates are in March (though backers will have early access).

There's also the requirement that Udemy approves the video course before it's officially released. To mitigate this factor, I've already produced and gotten approval for test videos and course format, so I expect no surprises. (Fingers crossed.)

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Command Line for Science Cheat Sheet

    --Get a single, beautiful PDF reference for all the commands, options and concepts you use most often.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Command Line for Science Video Course (Lifetime Access)

    --This is it! Get full access to the course and finally master the command line!

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    43 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    - Command Line for Science Cheat Sheet
    - Command Line for Science Video Course (Lifetime Access)

    Plus a customized ASCII art rendering of yourself!

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    1 backer
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    - Command Line for Science Cheat Sheet
    - Command Line for Science Video Course (Lifetime Access)
    - Command Line for Science Bonus USB Drive (full of exciting data, educational materials, and scientific tools)

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    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All 3 -- Video course, cheat sheet and USB drive

    PLUS have your name listed in the credits

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    5 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    All 3 -- Video course, cheat sheet and USB drive

    PLUS have your name listed in the credits
    AND a one hour 1-on-1 Command Line Bootcamp experience with me on Google Hangouts

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    All 3 -- Video course, cheat sheet and USB drive

    PLUS have your name listed in the credits
    AND the chance to help choose a supplementary topic for the course

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All 3 -- Video course, cheat sheet and USB drive

    PLUS have your name listed in the credits
    AND a 2-day Command Line Hackathon with me (airfare not included). We'll grep so many regexes you won't know what to sed! (If you don't know what that means, you will!)

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Funding period

- (30 days)