Hello! Welcome to Julia’s blog digest for the week. Here are the blog posts I wrote this week! I’m always interested to hear what you think at @b0rk on Twitter.

A list of just the links:

★ curl exercises

And the full content of all the posts, if you want to read everything in this email: curl exercises

Recently I’ve been interested in how people learn things. I was reading Kathy Sierra’s great book Badass: Making Users Awesome. It talks about the idea of deliberate practice.

The idea is that you find a small micro-skill that can be learned in maybe 3 sessions of 45 minutes, and focus on learning that micro-skill. So, as an exercise, I was trying to think of a computer skill that I thought could be learned in 3 45-minute sessions.

I thought that making HTTP requests with curl might be a skill like that, so here are some curl exercises as an experiment!

what’s curl ?

curl is a command line tool for making HTTP requests.

I like it because it’s an easy way to test that servers or APIs are doing what I think, but it’s a little confusing at first !

Here’s a drawing explaining curl’s most important command line arguments (which is page 6 of my Bite Size Networking zine). You can click to make it bigger.

fluency is valuable

With any command line tool, I think having fluency is really helpful.

It’s really nice to be able to just type in the thing you need. For example recently I was testing out the Gumroad API and I was able to just type in:

curl \
                         -d "access_token=<SECRET>" \
                         -X GET  -d "before=2016-09-03"

and get things working from the command line. 21 curl exercises

These exercises are about understanding how to make different kinds of HTTP requests with curl. They’re a little repetitive on purpose.

They exercise basically everything I do with curl.

To keep it simple, we’re going to make a lot of our requests to the same website: . httpbin is a service that accepts HTTP requests and then tells you what request you made.