Ops 102: Intro to Computer Operations



Ready to hack what’s inside the box? Curious about how computers really work? Ever wonder how technology professionals build physical computers, upgrade components, configure virtual machines? Join us for Ops 102! You’ll blast through preparations for Ops 201, deploying and configuring your very own home virtualization lab, which will serve as a platform for skill development as you move through the Ops program and beyond.

Pick the schedule that works for you! Flexible course options means you can fit Ops 102 into your life:

Daytime Immersive - Ready to dive in full time? Work through the course in just one week. Get trained via live, personal instruction from an experienced professional and educator. Work through your hands-on assignments in collaboration with peers looking to switch into a career in cyber / ops.

Nights & Weekends - Not quite ready to quit your day job? The Nights & Weekends schedule may be part-time, but it’s still intensive! Join us weeknights for 2 weeks and on one Saturday for the exact same in-depth curriculum offered in the Daytime Immersive. Your instructor will be there for every class, providing live instruction and demos, guiding you through lab assignments, to help you and your peers level up.

Self-paced Online - Want to prepare for Ops 201 at your own pace? Get it done on YOUR schedule and complete the same curriculum in our self-paced option. Access lecture videos, join a chat channel dedicated to you and your peers, and schedule screen-share sessions with an instructor to help you get unstuck. Take up to a month to work through the hands-on assignments, turning them in for grading through the exact same system the other schedules use.


By the end of this workshop, you will:

  • Understand the core building blocks of computing
  • Have your own home lab capable of virtualization
  • Develop proficiency in installing software in Linux
  • Gain valuable hands-on experience with computer hardware internals and peripherals
  • Be fully prepared for the challenges ahead in Ops 201
  • Be a part of a learning community, and begin to prepare your resume and professional skills for an in-demand technical career


  • Required: Computer updated with the latest version of OS, all security patches installed. See “Material Requirements” below.
  • Required: Basic home internet usage and computer skills.


  • Once you are accepted into the course, please complete the Ops 102 Prework.


  • Computer hardware components and interaction
  • Computer hardware interfaces
  • Operating systems fundamentals
  • Software application installation
  • Virtual machine operations

Material Requirements

For all Ops courses beyond 101, you must attend class on the first day with:

  • A recent-model laptop (or desktop) computer:
    • Running a 64-bit Operating System, like macOS, Ubuntu or Windows 10 Pro.
    • Fully up to date, with the latest version of the operating system and all security updates installed.
    • At least 60GB of free space on the hard drive.
    • At least 16GB of RAM (or 8GB Unified Memory). 32GB RAM strongly preferred.
    • Free of viruses, Zoom-ready (reliable webcam and microphone), and in general working order.
  • A reliable high-speed internet connection.
  • An Ops Lab Kit (see below), which contains tools of an IT pro, and a PC to use for labs (where you can uninstall/reinstall the operating system repeatedly).

Computer Requirements

You are required to supply your own desktop or laptop computer (not a Chromebook) with adequate system specs to run Zoom, Slack, Remo, and Microsoft Visual Studio Code. This computer will be used to remotely access the Lab Kit PC, which will perform the majority of the resource-intensive virtual machine hosting during the class. You are also responsible for maintaining a reliable source of high-speed internet connectivity for attending lecture time and occasionally presenting via Zoom.

Ops Lab Kit

By the first day of class, you will need to have received ALL items from the Ops Lab Kit Amazon Shopping List as specified by Code Fellows. This means you are responsible for purchasing everything in the Ops Lab Kit list and ensuring it will be delivered to you before class starts.

If your funding source provides required materials, talk to your Admissions Advisor about ensuring a timely delivery.

Your Ops Lab Kit contains primarily:

  • A desktop tower PC computer intended for lab and data overwrite
  • Compatible peripherals
  • Two 32GB USB flash drives
  • Sysadmin toolkits
  • Cat5e networking supplies
  • A wireless router for home network isolation

Each kit costs approximately $400, and will be reused in every Ops course (you don't need to buy more hardware for later courses), in your job search, and beyond.


Punctuality, participation in discussions, completion of assignments, and demonstration of professional courtesy to others are required, in accordance with our Code of Conduct. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of every class. Students should always contact the instructors ahead of time if they are unable to attend all or part of the published class/lab hours.

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