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Andrei Calazans

Why you should do “The Missing Semester” by MIT

/ 2 min read

Why you should do “The Missing Semester” by MIT

Have you heard of “The Missing Semester” course provided by a team of instructors at MIT? They promise to go over a set of tools which can help you become a more proficient software engineer.

Despite my experience in software development, I went through the course out of curiosity of what they could show me of which I did not know.

Positively, I enjoyed learning how each of the instructors leveraged terminal and operating system tools differently. Their different backgrounds enriched the perspectives presented. I as a mostly mobile client side engineer use the terminal and its tools differently than a Machine Learning Engineer using Python.

I think anyone, regardless of their experience, will find something new in one of these lectures. For instance, I am a big terminal user, heavily relying on: Vim; Tmux; ripgrep; find; git; plus more tools, and yet I learned new things.

For instance, I had superficial understanding of the shell’s reversed keywords, lecture two was specially illuminating on these points. On the fourth lecture about data wrangling, I found it fascinating how much power you can derive from concatenating different programs. On the fifth lecture about the command line environment I definitely learned about processes and job control.

To conclude, there are a bunch of things to learn, the amount definitely depends on how comfortable you are already with the terminal. I plan to review some of my learnings as stand alone posts going forward.