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Learn Linux: Good Idea Or Not? (2018 and Beyond) [Video]

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Learn Linux: Good Idea Or Not? (2018 and Beyond) [Video]

Linux or Windows? It's one of those eternal development questions. Watch this video to see what one DZone MVB has to say on the subject.

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Linux. It's been around since the mid-90s and has since reached a user-base that spans industries and continents. For those in the know, you understand that Linux is actually everywhere. It's in your phones, in your cars, in your refrigerators, your Roku devices. It runs most of the Internet, the supercomputers making scientific breakthroughs, and the world's stock exchanges. But before Linux became the platform to run desktops, servers, and embedded systems across the globe, it was (and still is) one of the most reliable, secure, and worry-free operating systems available.

(Source: https://www.linux.com/what-is-linux)

With all of its importance, should you consider learning Linux for 2018?


Transcript Of The Video:

Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com

I got a question about learning Linux. Should I learn Linux? If my phone will unlock. Here we go. This question is from Per and Per says, "I'm a student enrolled in a minor university in Europe and it's heavily invested in Windows. My program is heavily focused on embedded systems and while I think it teaches very valuable skills, I keep hearing about Linux from everywhere." I'm just imagining people like, "Hey Per, come here. Linux." "Hey dude, Linux." I don't know why I'm thinking that. I don't know. Anyway, he says, "My university does not teach much of it so I have to teach it on my own. I've tried a little but the command line is hard to get into. Is it worth my time for embedded development?" He says, "many of the smaller companies I've talked to seem to favor Linux knowledge, while the bigger companies stick with well-known brands such as Windows and MATLAB, which is also the official school policy. I aim to work in industrial manufacturing or automation when I have finished my master's degree, programming their big machines."

So, here's what I would say. I'm just going to have to - a lot of you are going to disagree with me and you're going to say, "Oh yeah, he needs to learn Linux and Windows." I get it. Yeah, go ahead, just leave your comments now before you even watch the video and say, "Windows sucks. Everyone should use Linux." I get it. I get it, okay? Linux is great. It's awesome. I love Linux. I use Linux a lot. My current desktop is going to be Windows though, I'll tell you that because the File Manager is the best in Windows and I like that.

Regardless, let's not get into a debate of Linux versus Windows. Let's get into the debate of do you really need to learn shit that you don't - that you're not using. This is something I harp on all the time because technology changes rapidly, because you don't know what the future holds and because anything that you learn that you don't actually use, think about this, is a waste. Now you may use it someday, some of this knowledge that you have, when you go on Jeopardy or you play Trivial Pursuit or you have a drunken conversation at a hookah lounge. I don't think you should drink in hookah lounges, but if you do get in that situation then you might use that knowledge, but for the most part, there's a lot of - any knowledge that you gain that you don't actually apply and lose is just a waste, a waste of time.

I could say, "Yeah, it would be good to learn Linux. You should learn Linux as a software developer. Yeah, as an embedded system developer you should learn Linux." But I don't know if that's the right move for you. I don't know if that's going to be good for you. The critical skill that you're trying to learn is embedded system development and software development so that you can become a software developer and get a job.

If you invest a bunch of time learning Linux and let's say that you go work for one of these big companies that uses Windows and you never end up having to use Linux in your life that's - how much time did you waste and spend, right? I mean, let's say it takes you a year or time, all this time that you could be spending learning something else or developing your skill some other way or, I don't know, going to the gym and lifting weights, whatever. That's what I would be doing. Let's say that you waste that time and you end up working for this company, you're working for this company for the next 15 years. Or it just sort of happens that every single company you ever work for, you end up working on Windows. Then it's a total waste. There's no benefit for you.

Again, this has nothing to do with Windows versus Linux. This has everything to do with just a general principle of don't - do practice just in time learning. When I know I need to do something - I don't study for - you know what, "Someday, maybe, maybe I'll become a lawyer and I'll take the bar exam. Someday, maybe, I'll become an architect and take the LEED exam. Someday, maybe, I'll take my MCATS." I don't know. Probably not, right? But I'm not studying for that. I'm not studying for the bar right now. If I decide to become a lawyer, if I decide that I'm going to pursue law school or whatever it is then I'll start studying for the bar exam, but I'm not going to be studying for an exam, for a test that I'm probably not going to take. That's the same thing here.

There's a higher probability that you're going to use Linux, but in general, the general principle is this, practice just in time learning. When you need to learn stuff and you know that it's on the horizon for sure, then commit to learning the thing and learn it by doing and having an actual reason, an application for doing it. Don't just learn for the sake of learning. Unless you're just - I mean you're interested in history, fine, learn by history, but actually, try to apply it in your life. Try to make a philosophy of life out of it, I would even say about that.

There you have it. That's my opinion on it. Feel free, like I said, to just ignore what I'm saying and tell him that he needs to learn some Linux. That's cool. It's alright.

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Topics:
agile ,devlife ,linux ,learning and development ,career growth

Published at DZone with permission of John Sonmez, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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