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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Unix Workbench by Johns Hopkins University

4.7
stars
1,146 ratings
354 reviews

About the Course

Unix forms a foundation that is often very helpful for accomplishing other goals you might have for you and your computer, whether that goal is running a business, writing a book, curing disease, or creating the next great app. The means to these goals are sometimes carried out by writing software. Software can’t be mined out of the ground, nor can software seeds be planted in spring to harvest by autumn. Software isn’t produced in factories on an assembly line. Software is a hand-made, often bespoke good. If a software developer is an artisan, then Unix is their workbench. Unix provides an essential and simple set of tools in a distraction-free environment. Even if you’re not a software developer learning Unix can open you up to new methods of thinking and novel ways to scale your ideas. This course is intended for folks who are new to programming and new to Unix-like operating systems like macOS and Linux distributions like Ubuntu. Most of the technologies discussed in this course will be accessed via a command line interface. Command line interfaces can seem alien at first, so this course attempts to draw parallels between using the command line and actions that you would normally take while using your mouse and keyboard. You’ll also learn how to write little pieces of software in a programming language called Bash, which allows you to connect together the tools we’ll discuss. My hope is that by the end of this course you be able to use different Unix tools as if they’re interconnecting Lego bricks....

Top reviews

RW
Apr 29, 2020

This is a very friendly step-by-step guide to Unix for beginners, it helps to build a solid foundation, and the exercises are designed to explore more about what has been introduced in the course.

KS
Jan 28, 2018

A wonderful course! Answered so many questions I had and gave me a solid background in Git, Bash, makefiles, and working from the cloud. I will definitely be using these skills in my job search!

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276 - 300 of 348 Reviews for The Unix Workbench

By matan n

Apr 14, 2018

great !!

By hurui

Nov 5, 2018

Great!

By Maddi A

Jun 4, 2020

goood

By ORIOLI A

Dec 9, 2020

Good

By Monica S

Oct 10, 2020

Good

By Ankit G

Mar 21, 2020

Easy

By Carlos F M M

Dec 3, 2019

Nice

By Gregory D H

Jun 4, 2018

This is a a gentle introduction to the Unix command line environment covering the fundamental skills upon learners can build. For anyone considering taking the Genomic Data Science Specialization courses and not familiar with the Unix command line environment, "The Unix Workbench" is a good foundation. The inclusion of version control (git and repositories - both local and remote) plus cloud computing as remote development and deployment environments shows practical real world usage of command line skills.

I deducted one star solely based on the written narrative. While correct in its content the presentation was dry, in my opinion, if the target audience is novices or those with very limited exposure to the Unix command line. I am not a command line novice so maybe my critique is not shared by those in the target audience. Why did I take this course? The courses by instructors affiliated with Johns Hopkins University are consistently informative, practical, and enjoyable. It never hurts to refresh basic skills regardless of where we might be along the spectrum from novice to expert; I learn something each time. "The Unix Workbench" is a good addition to JHU's contribution to democratising education.

By Will J

Aug 7, 2017

I came into the course with some knowledge of the shell but the course really opened up my eyes to how to use some of the more advanced features of bash scripting. To get a five star review, I would have expected some more depth such as including sections on awk or sed. In addition, I would have really like to better understand how people apply these skills in the real world. Especially with the close ties to the Data Science certification (both courses being from John Hopkins), I would have expected to see how a makefile could be used to rebuild analyses or how sed could be used to do some in-stream processing. Bottom line: I'm glad I took the course but wouldn't pay for it as there's way more to learn.

By Michael J C

Jun 9, 2019

This is a good course, barely adapted from Sean Kross' UNIX workbench book. Much of the course material refers to chapter numbers but is easy enough to follow without the book. I found that some sections did make a few leaps between the written content and the exercises. For the most part this was OK but the exercises for the final section, "Nephology", were well beyond the written content ("now make a Twitter bot"). Also, the course required that we sign up to Digital Oceans (and gave us a credit)...be prepared for spam and officious disregard for customers.

By Pratyush M

Sep 12, 2018

Its a fairly good course for introduction to the command line. In my opinion, it would benefit from using better formatting commands in text using in-line code snippets like markdown. Also more resources for referring(like cheat sheets) in the very last lesson would be helpful and it would have helped even more if all resources which were mentioned before in the preceding chapters would have been included in the last lesson as well. But yes, I would recommend this to new learners.

By Christina H

Jun 1, 2020

I took this class as a refresher on the basics of Unix, having not used a shell in over 10 years. I found this to be well organized, easy to follow, and user friendly. It also felt like just the right amount of work per week. The text did contain some typos, but I wonder if that was to encourage people to edit it. The forums were helpful, but I do think moderators need to consider that people come from all abilities and background and sometimes some plain speak is appreciated.

By Richard S

Oct 10, 2017

This course offers a wide range of topics for an entry-level course on UNIX/Linux. From user-type tasks (navigating the tree, manipulating files, etc), to programming-related ones (using make/makefiles, git, GitHub, etc), this course gives the learner enough knowledge to assess whether they want to continue with more advanced UNIX/Linux courses, or pursue some other area of knowledge.

By Achuthan R V

May 20, 2020

I would have preferred more video classes to explain the tools as opposed to texts. Further, separate modules on the vi editor, sed and awk utilities could have also been included as part of the course content. The exercises were good but an extra peer-reviewed assignment (on other Week 3 topics) would have been helpful.

By Juan C G V

Jun 30, 2020

Very good course on Linux focused on the development of bash scripts as part of a developer's toolbox. Instructor had developed a book to support it. You will find the basics to start working as a part of a development team using Git and GitHub. Definitely enjoyable. Thank you to all the people that makes this possible.

By Huajun Z

Jan 16, 2018

It's a very useful course, and helped me to code some simple bash programs, without which my current project would be very laborious. A small piece of suggestion is that content for each week can be further optimized, as the week3 and week4 contents are a bit too much, and week1 is a bit too little.

By John H

Aug 24, 2017

Well paced intro to shell scripting and bash. Could use a little more video and discussion beyond the "text" for the module. However, this is early in the life of the course so perhaps these can be added.

It would be good to have a follow-up module with more make, Git and other areas! Thanks.

By Enpei L

Apr 11, 2019

I chose to take this course as reading manuals is boring. The course is nice in the sense that it gives practicals that you can do and get yourself familiar with the commands. On the other side, the videos are not what I expected and not so useful to have anyways.

By GAUTAM K

Dec 23, 2017

It was very good course designed for beginner in Unix. Thanks a lot for this. I was expecting a good hands on assignment at each week. The course could be much better if it would have included some more details in all the topics covered.

By Rob C

Sep 10, 2018

Really interesting course and a good introduction to shell programming. I did find the learning curve was a little uneven between weeks (1 and 2 were took almost no time, but some quirks in week 3 made it take much longer).

By Sougata G

Dec 18, 2017

Fantastic book for beginners as well as people who haven't worked on Unix for a long time. Brush up and get going. Very lucid presentation ; gitHub lessons were an additional plus

By Sara A

Oct 11, 2018

A very good course!

Before taking this course, I was a little worried to work with Linux. But now I really feel more comfortable with it.

Thanks to the instructor for his efforts.

By Edgardo S

Apr 22, 2018

I could not get the connection with digitalocean, becasue the page requested me to pay. I suggest to use a server propietary of coursera only for courses.

By Kyösti P

Mar 10, 2019

Excellent introductory course in to Unix and utilizing some of the basic command line functions as well as some of the progarmming structure basics.

By Kirulkar R B

Feb 20, 2018

I learn so many new commands from this course.

and one more important thing is basic standard skeleton of bash programming as well as git-hub basic.