Charles Peters

Designer / Developer

Command Line Phobia

I like to learn. Probably that’s what I spend 80% of my time doing on the web: just learning. Whether it’s jQuery tutorials or a screencasts or Lynda videos, I’m always trying to learn something new. There’s definitely always so many new things to learn to make the work you do better and with better methods.

When I started to learn about Sass there was a bunch of stuff I had to do to set it up. It said to open Terminal and to sudo gem install sass. Naturally, I was a little confused. I never used the Terminal for anything except that Star Wars thing. I tried it and it didn’t work. Tried it again, didn’t work.

So I found my way to CodeKit and it kept me from having to touch the command line. It let me use Bourbon & Neat without any installing or worrying (or really thinking too much).

I wanted to get on GitHub for a while to contribute and make things, but I didn’t understand how Git worked and the tutorial was all command line related and involved making SSH keys for stuff and made absolutely no sense to me.

Then along comes Grunt.js and it promises to do way more stuff that CodeKit ever could, like make my Javascript better and concatenate those files for me without error, push to GitHub and my FTP. But it too uses a CLI (Command Line Interface) so I had to open Terminal and get to it.

I looked at Laravel, same story. The install required the command line.

I kept running into it everywhere. So I broke down and took it bit by bit. I started with Grunt and followed the instructions carefully. Took some getting used to but it made my workflow faster.

I ran into a problem using Bourbon and Neat when I switched to using Grunt. It didn’t load those libraries automatically. So I just did an install command.

Then came Git. Not as hard as I thought it would be to clone repositories and change directories and make commits and push them up to GitHub. I’ve been loving putting stuff there and forking repositories and it’s amazingly simple.

A little bit of trial and error made things to much faster. Like making & changing directories and touching files, simple. After going through this I realized, I had this irrational worry that I could really fuck something up in Terminal. On top of that I was kind of worried that it would be too complicated or I wouldn’t get it. Lesson learned, dive in, fail, try, repeat.