I’ve completed 3 months of self-directed web development training with the intent on being hired as a Junior Ruby on Rails developer. Up to this point I’ve been following the tutorials on the always fabulous Team Treehouse, and also the Rails tutorial written by Michael Hartl.
I’m REALLY tired of following tutorials. I’m ready to build my own stuff without following along.
My first app, which I started tonight, is going to be a blog. Sounds simple, but it’s only as simple as you make it. I was brainstorming and I want to add:
- WYSIWYG editor
- Multi-column format
- Twitter integration
- Searchable archives
- Ability to upload and store photos
- Header image that changes on page refresh
THIS blog, the one you’re reading, is a WordPress blog and has a ton of options. I want to integrate many of the options offered in the WP blog in my Rails blog.
Back to work…
When I first started learning web development 3 months I didn’t know what I needed to know; I also didn’t know HOW to learn what I needed to know.
3 months in I think I’ve figured out both.
In terms of the “How”…I’ve got handle on the basics and now I’m solely concentrating on building Rails apps. I’m still making my way through the Hartl tutorial and Team Treehouse learning track. One thing that has bothered me about the way most tutorials are presented is that they throw a bunch of information at you and don’t bother to tell you what is essential and what you can disregard until you reach a higher level of proficiency.
For example, TDD, good ol’ Test Driven Development. Nowadays it’s critical and I’m not going to get hired without knowledge of the process. BUT if you’re teaching a web dev newbie how to build a Rails app I think it’s counterproductive to stop smack dab in the middle and teach TDD. I think a better solution, at least for me, is to build the app from start to finish and skip the TDD portion. THEN go back after you’ve gained the experience (and psychological boost) of completing an app and THEN try to gain a deeper understanding of Rails apps.