I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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Today, my furrowed brows relaxed into “ah ha” smiles. After two days of challenging Ruby concepts, we’re now in the wonderful world of Rails. Our instructor for this section, Sarah Allen, is also really bringing it on.

What works

Context and the big picture

For me, it’s vital to understand the big picture when learning a new technology. So kudos to Sarah for explaining the history and rationale for Rails: to let programmers worry about real application features rather than common development tasks. This means less typing, less configuration, and easier debugging. And more time to design and test.

Hands-on fun

After the quick intro, we created our first skeleton app with just one line of code. It’s really satisfying to create an app and begin interacting with a database within minutes. Amazing. For the rest of the day, we edited View templates and Model files (the M and V of the M-V-C application mode). Since we haven’t covered Controllers, I’m still not totally sure how it all works together. But, I know it’ll make much more sense by the end of the week.

Clear explanations

Sarah did a great job explaining each step as we tried them out. I particularly loved the walk-thru of every directory and file types within a standard rails app. She also did a good job of pointing out common pitfalls and best practices.

Q & A

The last hour of the class was reserved for questions and answers. This gave us the chance to get clarification on any confusing points from the day.

What doesn’t work

Location still sucks

Even with the cab stipend, it’s still a pain to get to Marakana. The facility is set between the projects and industrial barrenness, so we have few options for walking around during lunch. Thankfully, food is provided. Though, we have little common area to sit, eat, and talk.

Set up could be smoother

We spent about 30 minutes at the beginning of the class just making sure we had the right version of Rails, Heroku accounts, and the required dependencies. We did get some instructions by email before the class, but not every step was included.

The bottom line

Today’s class was inspiring, well-structured, and clear. All the pain from the previous two days prepped us, but it was also Sarah’s ability to communicate the material that really helped in understanding. A great class, but please move Marakana fast.

All Bootcamp Diary Entries

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 1

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 2

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 3

Rails Bootcamp Diary: Day 4

1 Comment

  • Andrew Griffith

    gravatarDec 19, 2010
    1:20 pm

    Hey Chanpory,

    I’ve just come across your site today and I must say it’s full of all sorts ! : ) One day its Greeting Cards the next thing it’s open source software : ). I like your style man, I hope you crack the Ruby…