As noted in my last post, learning Rails has not been as easy as I initially thought. I went through various resources available ranging from blogs to books, from paid sites to free sites. With my current knowledge, I was able to go through each tutorial and article and actually understand the concepts. However, there was a problem.
I realized that I am very far from being comfortable with this new framework by browsing through open source projects. I believe part of it is due to excessive refactoring by more experienced users which definitely makes coding concise but very hard for newbies like me to understand. Also, I wish open source projects had more “in-line” documentation and that’s hardly the case.
I took a whole week off from work and decided to dedicate myself into Rails. And I had an epiphany: Most advice online is actually wrong. Sites suggest that you learn Rails and its MVC infrastructure and only give you a quick view into the Ruby language. I realized that if I really want to understand code that others write and actually implement ideas into an app, I need to know Ruby inside and out FIRST and not vice versa.
I started from the basics and definitely learned a lot about the world of Ruby. Ruby is truly a very intuitive language but sometimes it is too intuitive for its own detriment. A lot of the ‘syntactic sugar’ actually makes coding more complicated but this is something that I realize you learn with time.
After going through Ruby for a few days, I felt much more comfortable with Rails. I actually stumbled upon the best resource for learning Rails out there. Trust me, I have tried many resources but this is absolutely the best.
It is called Reddit on Rails. It is created by Richard Schneeman as part of a class he taught for University of Reddit. The reason why I loved this tutorial is that it actually makes you think, make mistakes and research on your own while giving you just enough guidance so you don’t get lost. This is definitely how I learn the best and I really wish there were more resources like this for Rails.
Anyway, after grinding through the tutorial for 2 days, here is my WIP site: http://pauditt.herokuapp.com/. I have a lot of ideas on how to make this better and I hope to make this a foundation for my future learning.