Learn You Some Shell

Here’s the list of shell programming resources I recommend to my students.

Basic skills for Unix newbies

These tutorials cover the basic skills you need to perform basic tasks on Unix systems. Since 99% of all web sites are deployed on Unix/Linux, you really do need to know this stuff.

  1. Command Line Crash Course This tutorial stands above the others because it provide lots of examples and exercises. Best of all, it’s honest, and comes with a full blast of Zed Shaw.
  2. UNIX Tutorial for Beginners
  3. Learning the Shell
  4. Unix for Mac OS X Users
Shell Programming

Once you learn basic Shell skills, you’ll want to learn about Shell programming.


Unix Shell Programming by Michael Kochan is my go-to shell book.

College Courses

The best course I know of is Greg Boyd’s face-to-face CS 160A and 160B courses at CCSF. Take them if your live in the Bay Area.

What I’m Reading this Week

What I'm reading

My latest shipment of books arrived Saturday.

  • Will Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Art. I’m a big fan of comics and graphic novels. I’m thinking of making one myself. The only thing stopping me is that I can’t draw or tell stories. I’m hoping there are Python modules that can do that for me.
  • WordPress Plugin Development, by Brad Williams. This book will inspire me to create some  plugin projects for my upcoming WP course.
  • Cracking the Coding Interview, by Gayle McDowell. I plan to revise some of these problems and use them in my Perl and Ruby courses.
  • The Lean Product Playbook, by Dan Olsen. This book is special because it was written by my friend Dan Olsen. Dan is an entrepreneur, consultant, and Lean product expert — his clients include Facebook, Box, Hightail, and Medallia. While he was at Intuit, he led the Quicken product team and before that, he was the lead product manager at Friendster. Dan knows that he’s talking about.

I met Dan when he took my CCSF PHP courses back in the day, and I later worked on Yourversion, Dan’s super-lean startup. We worked our tails off and Yourversion was the Techcrunch People’s Choice Award winner in 2009. Though Yourversion didn’t become a Unicorn, it’s mighty PHP heart is still pumping strong.