what I have learned so far

by roboswald

Based on the couple recommendations from the development lead and a pile of suggestions from my mentor, this is what I’ve accomplished so far:

Finished TryRuby.org.

Finished Learn to Program by Chris Pine

Installed Sinatra and got a “Hello World” local page up and running

Started RubyMonk only to find that its broken in a lot of spots  (its possible that its just my browser, but I don’t have time to figure that out)

I went through Man With Code’s Ruby videos

Started Learn Ruby the Hard Way by Zed A. Shaw

Started why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby

Purchased and started reading The Well-Grouded Rubyist

Purchased, but have not started Eloquent Ruby

Purchased, but have not started The Ruby Programming Language

Learn to Program was solid.  I don’t regret spending time with that.  With Sinatra, I probably got ahead of myself.  I was only able to put up the “Hello World” page because I followed some instructions, not because I understood what I was doing.  (Much like my Commodore 64 days.)  I will come back to this, though, once I can start actually building with Ruby.

RubyMonk, it took me awhile to realize it was the website that was broken and not me.  I would say I wasted a lot of emotional energy and some time here.  I was getting very frustrated because I was certain that I was entering the right answer.  And then I would out to Stack Overflow and confirm it and still nothing.  It made me feel like a crazy person.  Man With Code’s videos were fine.  Most of it was just reinforcement of things I already knew, but perhaps needed to think about again.

I think I started why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby too late.  This should have been the first thing I did after TryRuby.  I would have appreciated the humor and tangents more.  Now I feel like I just want to get to the meat and potatoes and I have to skip multiple paragraphs of entertainment.  Don’t get me wrong.  From the little I read this, I got a great impression of the material.  I just think I shouldn’t have waited so long to get into it.

Learn Ruby the Hard Way lives up to its name.  I’m not sure what the actual print book is like, but all I am able to find is the exercises online.  (Maybe that’s what the book is too?)  The book really does drop you off the deep end pretty quickly.  It seems Zed wants you to go out and do the research on what you don’t know.  And I do, but in a couple spots I find myself not even knowing how to search for the proper answer.  I have made it a personal goal to beat this, though.  I will finish this one if it drives me to alcoholism.

My favorite book so far as been the Well-Grounded Rubyist.  David A. Black lays out stuff exactly how I want to learn it.  Its straightforward and slightly dense. The book hasn’t completely lost me yet, which happened a couple times with some of the other things listed here.  While writing this, I’m getting excited about thinking and opening that book back up.  Kind of gross, I know.

I’m spending at least one hour a day and 14 hours a week minimum on this until I reach my goal.  For now my focus is purely Ruby.  Then Sinatra.  Then Rails.  Once I have all those down, I’ll see if there are any other gems I should know to get up to speed with what the dev team is doing.  I also need to learn Vim and some of the back end technologies we use at my company.  From there I’d like to strengthen my math skills, learn Python and Django, Javascript and Node.js, a little HTML and CSS and start learning about architecture.  It would probably benefit me to learn C, C++ or Java as well, but that’s a couple years away maybe.

I have not been this excited about my future, my career and about learning something ever.  I keep imagining myself as the generalist web developer.  Just walking in, building apps and solving problems.  Its going to be awesome.