Command-line Finances using the Plain Text Accounting Ecosystem

Far too often, developers mismanage their personal finances and squander the assets at their disposal. This workshop introduces personal finance accounting in general and moves into teaching how to use the open source plain text accounting ecosystem to manage one's money. You'll walk away with a fun, creative way to effectively collect transaction data iteratively and analyze it using freely available tools combined with some of your own code.


This workshop is geared toward folks with the following skills:

  1. Comfortability with basic algebra
  2. Comfortability using a computer with a suitable keyboard or another input method for typing
  3. Comfortability using a text editor program, such as Atom, Visual Studio Code, vim, or Emacs
  4. Comfortability installing and using command line software on the operating system of their choice

and the following things available to them:

  1. A computer running a UNIX-like operating system or having standard UNIX tools available to it. That explicitly includes Apple macOS or virtually any modern Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu Linux. Microsoft Windows can be used when using UNIX tools via Windows Subsystem for Linux. For more information, see @tbl:os-pkgman.
  2. Internet access, to install tools required to follow the workshop activities. The tools will be described in the workshop document provided ahead of time but you can follow along as the list of dependencies shapes up on GitHub.

About Colin Dean

Colin Dean is a personal finance enthusiast who has been using plain text account tools for the better part of a decade. He pays the bills as software engineer for a major retailer but also runs Pittsburgh's Code & Supply software community, its non-profit Scholarship Fund, and is president of non-profit Meta Mesh Wireless Communities. He believe that if we challenge ourselves and encourage each other, we will all achieve.

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