If you want to learn how to develop open-source software on Linux, here’s where to start.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge, PC operating system; 300bps was a fast Internet connection; WordStar was the state of the art word processor; and we liked it.
Want a good-paying programming job? By ZipRecruiter‘s count, the average annual pay for an open-source developer in the United States is $123,411. That’s not bad.
There’s also a lot of demand for Linux and open-source pros. The Linux Foundation and edX, the leading massive open online course (MOOC) provider, reported in their 2021 Open Source Jobs Report that the pair found more demand for top open-source workers than ever.
That’s why the Linux Foundation has released three new training courses on the edX platform: Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers (LFD107x), Linux Tools for Software Development (LFD108x), and Git for Distributed Software Development (LFD109x). The three courses can be taken individually or combined to earn a Professional Certificate in Open Source Software Development, Linux, and Git.
The first class, Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers (LFD107x) explores the key concepts of developing open-source software and how to work productively in Linux. You don’t need to know Linux before starting this class, as it’s an introduction to Linux designed for developers. In it, you’ll learn how to install Linux and programs, how to use desktop environments, text editors, important commands and utilities, command shells and scripts, filesystems, and compilers.
For this class, the Foundation recommends you use a computer installed with a current Linux distribution. I’d go further and recommend you use one with one of the professional Linux distributions. In particular, you should focus on one of the three main enterprise Linux families: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and Ubuntu. There are hundreds of other distros, but these are the ones that matter to companies looking for Linux developers.
Also: How to become a Linux pro
The next course, Linux Tools for Software Development (LFD108x) examines the tools necessary to do everyday work in Linux development environments and beyond. It is designed for developers with experience working on any operating system who want to understand the basics of open-source development. Upon completion, participants will be familiar with essential shell tools, so they can work comfortably and productively in Linux environments. In addition, I recommend you come to this class with a working knowledge of the C programming language.
Finally, Git for Distributed Software Development (LFD109x) provides a thorough introduction to Git. Git is Linux Torvalds’ other great accomplishment. This source control system was first used by the Linux kernel community to enable developers from around the world to operate efficiently. In addition, thanks to such sites as GitHub and GitLab, Git has become the lingua franca of all software development.
Everyone uses Git today.
With this class, you’ll learn to use Git to create new repositories or clone existing ones, commit new changes, review revision histories, examine differences with older versions, work with different branches, merge repositories, and work with a distributed development team. Whether or not you end up programming in Linux, knowing how to use Git is essential for the modern programmer.
Also: The Linux Foundation offers a suite of open-source management classes
The three courses combine into the “Open Source Software Development, Linux, and Git” Professional Certificate Program. With this certification, employers will know you’re capable of open-source programming.
These classes were created by Jerry Cooperstein, PhD, the Linux Foundation’s senior content manager. Cooperstein has been working with Linux since 1994 and has overall responsibility for all Linux Foundation training content.
To make the most from the courses you’ll need to earn the professional certificate. To do this, you must enroll in the program, complete all three courses, and pay a verified certificate fee of $149 per course.
You can also take the three courses through edX in audit mode for no cost.
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