The Missing Semester of Your CS Education

Note: this site is under construction for the 2020 offering of this IAP class.

Learn to make the most of the tools that hackers have been using for decades.

As hackers, we spend a lot of time on our computers, so it makes sense to make that experience as fluid and frictionless as possible. In this class, we’ll help you learn how to make the most of tools that productive programmers use.

We’ll show you how to navigate the command line, use a powerful text editor, use version control efficiently, automate mundane tasks, manage packages and software, configure your desktop environment, and more.


Click on specific topics below to see lecture videos and lecture notes.

About the class

Staff: This class is co-taught by Anish, Jon, and Jose.
Questions: Email us at

Beyond MIT

We’ve also shared this class beyond MIT in the hopes that others may benefit from these resources. You can find posts and discussion on

Source code.