Data Science At The Command Line
This book is about doing data science at the command line. My aim is to make you a more eﬀicient and productive data scientist by teaching you how to leverage the power of the command line. Having both data science and command line in the book’s title requires an explanation. How can a technology that is more than 50 years old1 be of any use to a ﬁeld that is only a few years young? Today, data scientists can choose from an overwhelming collection of exciting technologies and programming languages. Python, R, Julia, and Apache Spark are but a few examples. You may already have experience in one or more of these. And if so, why should you still care about the command line for doing data science? What does the command line have to oﬀer that these other technologies and programming languages do not? These are valid questions. In this opening chapter I will answer these questions as follows. First, I provide a practical deﬁnition of data science that will act as the backbone of this book. Second, I’ll list ﬁve important advantages of the command line. By the end of this chapter, I hope to have convinced you that the command line is indeed worth learning for doing data science.