07-131 – Great Practical Ideas in CS


Throughout your education as a Computer Scientist at Carnegie Mellon, you will take courses on programming, theoretical ideas, logic, systems, etc. As you progress, you will be expected to pick up the so-called “tools of the trade.” This course is intended to help you learn what you need to know in a friendly, low-stress, high-support way. We will discuss UNIX, debugging and many other essential tools.

For more information, you should checkout the syllabus.


NOTE: We are still tweaking the schedule, and it is subject to change.

Date Reading Lecture Topic
ASAP Initial setup -
9/3 Week 1 Terminal usage
9/10 Week 2 Vim
9/17 Week 3 Latex
9/24 Week 4 Vim and VSCode
10/1 Week 5 Git
10/8 Week 6 Git
10/15 - Exam 1
10/22 Week 7 Bash
10/29 Week 8 Bash
11/5 Week 9 Bash
11/12 Week 10 Bash
11/19 Week 11 CMU Advice
11/26   Thanksgiving
12/3 Week 12 Lightning Rounds
12/10 - Exam 2


Throughout the semester, we’ll be holding extra workshops and talks outside of class, dubbed “extratations”, to explore topics that we don’t want to test you on but that you might find interesting.

Time and Location: See Piazza

We’ll be posting the extratation schedule here.

Date Extratation Topic
9/12 Latex Resume
9/19 Summer Opportunities
9/26 Tmux and Advanced Vim
10/4 CI/CD with Github Actions
10/10-11 Web Dev Weekend
10/17 GitHub URL Shortener
10/25 Bitcoin
10/31 Dotfiles
11/7 Product Management
11/14 Crash Course
11/21 PowerPoint Programming
11/28 Thanksgiving
12/5 Lightning Rounds (continued) + Review

How to use this site

This site is broken up into a number of Topics which are further broken up into Lessons. One topic in particular relates directly to the assignments in this class: Readings. The “Readings” topic is where you can find links to the the lessons that will be useful for solving that week’s lab.

In general, there are more lesson pages than there are labs. You will only be assessed on your knowledge of those that relate to solving the labs. The others are there as additional resources.

Copyright © 2014, Great Practical Ideas in Computer Science.