About this project
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?
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.
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.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The course will be offered on Udemy. All backers at the $25 level and above will receive free lifetime access. I'll probably list the course at $199, which is a typical Udemy price for a course with this much content.
Check out the draft course page here: https://www.udemy.com/draft/683800/
The class is perfect for anybody using Mac OSX or any flavor of Linux -- so the commands you learn will carry over into any scientific computing environment.
It's okay if you're on Windows, though! The first section of the course will walk you through setting up your own little pet Linux virtual machine, which you can then use for the entire class. It's easier than it sounds!
No, but it will be pretty boring unless you're interested in computational science. Basic command line skills will serve you in System Administration, Software Engineering and Network Security as well -- but if that's your career path, there may be better materials out there. We're playing with genomes and astronomical models here, after all :)
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