DEV Community

David Cantrell
David Cantrell

Posted on

Education in my Plague Bunker

I got "furloughed" (and isn't that an appalling word? I prefer "given an extended paid holiday") from work because of OMG TEH DETHLURGI. I've previously - recently, even - gone several weeks without working, the most recent being the last seven weeks of 2019 when I was between jobs. Then I deliberately took the time off, and filled it with things like theatres and galleries and short holidays away from home. But for this period of several weeks when I won't have any work to keep me occupied I knew that I would go spare from boredom if I didn't find stuff to fill the time, and my usual distractions are unavailable. I could just passively consume media - there's plenty of opera available online for example, and I could just go on a Netflix binge - but that's just not me, I'd still get bored after a while.

So I decided to send myself back to school. I found interesting lecture series online covering all sorts of subjects, and made myself a schedule. I have kinda-sorta stuck to it. Most of the things I've been educating myself about aren't of interest to readers of this blog, but one in particular most certainly is. The MIT Missing Semester looks at first glance to be really very basic stuff that any professional developer with my 25 years of experience really shouldn't need. However, I expected that there would be some nuggets of gold hidden in there. I've only watched the first two lectures so far, and discovered two marvellous tools.

tldr provides brief examples of common invocations of complex tools. I can see myself using it most for ffmpeg.

Even more usefully, fzf, the fuzzy finder, integrates with your shell to make C-r (for searching your command history) even more useful.

Check them both out, I'm sure you won't regret it.

Discussion (0)