If you haven’t done it already, get yourself a Raspberry Pi and install Linux on it

Everyone in software engineering should go through the process of installing an operating system from scratch

I don’t care that you don’t have a degree in Computer Science. I don’t care that you learned coding from a six-week boot camp.

You may know how to code, but if you don’t know how to troubleshoot your development environment, you are only 30% as productive as you could be.

So here is a little project for you:

  1. Buy yourself a bare-bones Raspberry Pi computer. Don’t buy this thing. Buy this.
  2. Setup your Raspberry Pi computer from scratch.
  3. Create a user for yourself.
  4. Setup users for everyone in your household.
  5. Install Nginx and Apache both. Configure both to serve a static website. Make a note of which one you like better.
  6. For extra credit, set up your Raspberry Pi to serve a publically accessible website and ask your friends outside of your household to look at it and give you feedback. You can also use that website to host the apps you are building.

As you go through the above steps, take thorough notes. Then buy five more of these things and repeat the process for 5 of your friends. 

Now you can say that you know how to code.