Project Ramon

A learning journey from a Ruby noob perspective

Picks of the Week: Tools & Guides for our Trade

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With the week quickly drawing to a close, I wanted to take the opportunity to run another pick of the week.

I like the idea of sharing knowledge about tools and educational resources that increase productivity while learning web development.

I have 3 such picks for today.

Steps for a Beginner to Learn Ruby

My personal favorite is the blog post by Mark, I’ll explain why. Until I started using AirPair 90% of my time was spent learning rails conventions, I even built a project or two using this method. After some time doing this however  I realized that I had holes in my fundamental understanding of development/programming concepts. Thankfully the gaps in my remedial Ruby knowledge were pointed out to me and I have been taking the past two weeks just working through koans, test-driving all the way.

While I haven’t gotten as far as I would have liked over the past two weeks, the time was an invaluable aid in allowing me to slow down and just understand the Ruby language and how it’s tools can be utilized to solve problems. Mark’s post opened my eyes towards a path of growth that, if I follow the post’s instruction with consistency, will pay off in the long run.

CodeRunner

CodeRunner, is an application I learned about from Russell Baker, someone I’ve enjoyed pairing with a few times a week. Its a lot of fun being able to work together with someone who is more advanced than myself, but is still working  towards improvement as well.  In our last pair together, we went over polymorphic associations.

I have not yet tried CodeRunner, but it is definitely on the short-list of things to do, right after upgrading my Operating System this weekend.

Regular Expressions

And last but certainly not least, is the regexp tutorial by Nettuts. I am very grateful to Edward Anderson for a couple of reasons which I consider personal game-changers for me. I really don’t understand why, looking back, but understanding Git was extremely difficult for me before AirPair. It seemed like the more stories, and articles I read, the more I was confused. Maybe that confusion spawned enough frustration on my part to make the patience necessary to comprehend Git harder to maintain. I rarely receive epiphanies in such magnitude but thankfully, due to Edwards guidance, I was able to become confident in basic workflow commands very shortly after our session. If you are interested in learning Git basics, here’s a link to our pair.

The exact same thing happened when he introduced me to how regular expressions worked! When I first used to see a regex, the characters intimidated me to no end. I was fortunate enough to have heard a Ruby Rogues podcast about it about a year or so ago, and had heard that regular expressions weren’t something to be afraid of learning. But I had yet to ever try even a basic tutorial on the topic until Edward mentioned it during the course of one of our sessions.

These were all extremely beneficial for me, and I hope that they will be for you as well.

So tell me, which one of these is your favorite?

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Categories: AirPair, Newbie

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