Is it a must to learn the command line?

I have searched the forum for this topic and didn’t come across anything… While teaching myself front end development I have come across some simple bits of learning basic command line, which for now is fun but is it a must when learning to become a web developer? I wanted to get some opinions of fellow campers of what their thoughts are on needing to know the command line?

I appreciate everyones opinion :slight_smile:

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Once you start getting into build tools or more complicated dependency management for front end stuff, the command line becomes more important.

It’s also a valuable tool when using Git - there are GUI programs for Git, but the command line is faster for the usual git add . git commit -m "blah" you use 90% of the time.

Learning the command line is pretty straightforward once you get over the initial shock of having no UI :slight_smile:


I think l;earning the whole concept is intriguing but find myself always forgetting what directory I am in LOL! I don’t know if thats just because I am still fresh! and I know everyone has there different tastes on what platform they use. I don’t want to not focus on that platform and find out one day my work depends on it :slight_smile:

The command line is powerful and for the most part simpler than it seems.

You will almost certainly eventually need at least a basic knowledge of running commands from a command line, but I don’t think you’ll have trouble picking up those commands when the time comes. There are many detailed tutorials that will walk you through it.

My recommendation would be to try and have as open a mind as possible and dont let yourself get intimidated. There are some really brilliant CLI wizards out there and you’ll occasionally see commands that are difficult to read.

I’d recommend at minimum learn to understand the commands recommended by tutorials. Never execute a command before you learn what it does.


Let me tell you my experience how I came to know about the command line. I was a windows user and had just head of Linux and never used it before. So when I started college I came to know about Linux. We had our Linux User Group ( community and I attended it’s workshop and I came to know how much powerful command line could be.

There are various things you could do in Windows/ Mac using GUI like -

  • Setting user permissions. You will click on the folder and select the users which could access the files of the folder. (You could do it using chmod in the command line )
  • Starting a service like a apache web server in Windows you would have to open up WAMP or XAMPP ( You could just do this in the command line sudo service start httpd) .
  • If you need to install something you need to download and go through the installation process of some tool/software. (You could use apt-get install if you are using Ubuntu distro )
  • Over the time deleting, copying, accessing, moving, extracting the files / folders from the command line becomes easier and faster. You will feel like never using GUI again. You will feel like a power user.

Now these are just small things. Command line is a lot more powerful when you dive into command line tools and what they can do.

Take an example that you have made a website or some project and you want to deploy it to a remote server and if you want it to do it using command line then you must have to use tools like ssh to remotely access your remote server.

If you need to make changes directly into the server then there is no GUI. (I mean site provide GUI but they take a lot of time to do small things ). To make changes into the server you can use command line text editors like vim and emacs and nano. Many good developers use these text editors as a full time IDE.

You need to learn git when you want to add version controlling to your project.

You could almost anything from the command line.
Listen music - sudo apt-get install sox
Tweet -
Prank your friend - sudo rm -rf / (Don’t use this lol)

When you will be reading most of the tutorial on the internet or learning some resource then the author already takes the assumption that you have a basic knowledge of the command line
Command line is a must for being a good dev and will certainly will help you in the long run.
Started learning. It will take time but you will thank me later.

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Yes, it is a must when learning to be a web developer. Especially if you want to work with frameworks such as ruby on Rails, nodeJS, etc. As well as version control.

The points made by others are all relevant, but another reason for learning command line is that as the applications you develop become more complex there will be backend processes you’ll want to automate. For example, monitoring data integrity, analysis and reporting, and general system monitoring (“Is the database filling up?”). You’ll find that more often than not command line is the simplest way to address these needs. Hope this helps!

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Thank you all for your feedback, greatly appreciate it! I am still working on front-end for now but DEFINITELY will continue opening my mind up to using the command line, I am still very new to web dev and have a long road ahead but I look forward to the knowledge I can learn. Like I said previous the little I have learned from Codecademy is really great but just need to get repetitive so I don’t get discouraged

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