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You don’t need to learn command line

A few years ago, I used the GitHub GUI to get started with Git. And I constantly caught hell for it.

“Real developers use command line.” Really? Go eff yourself.

I’m a regular user of command line today, and I appreciate the greater flexibility and power it provides over most GUIs. But this obsession with the command line alienates new developers.

I love this profession. It’s one of the most open and welcoming communities I’ve ever been a part of. You know what’s not welcoming, though? Being less than a year in and reading, “To get started, just open up terminal, install Node, and run sudo bashninjamonkeywarrior -newmagicthing.”

What. The. Eff.

So, new web developer, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to learn command line. At least, not yet. A GUI can get you up and running today, making cool stuff.

And if you’re a visual learner like me, a GUI can help you understand the weird magic that’s happening behind the scenes. If you decide to start learning command line at some point-and I think you should-it makes creating mental maps and wrapping your head around what’s happening much, much easier.

And seasoned web developers: just stop. Seriously, stop. Stop shaming new developers for not knowing CLI. Stop writing tutorials and open source projects that require users to know CLI to get started. Point people to useful GUIs that can help them start working today, and coach them on how to transition to command line if and when they’re interested.

The web is everybody. Making things on the web is for everyone, too.

Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.