So, I’m embarking on an adventure. I’ve decided to learn Ruby. Many people have a pet language and so they respond to that with “Why Ruby?” You can see they are itching to plug their language of choice. To be fair, I made this decision at NodeConf this year. So I can understand how they might have thought I’d choose Node. Ruby made sense as a starting point for a few reasons.
First, I had a chance to work with Pivotal Labs last spring, trading CSS mojo for Ruby mojo, in their 100% pair programming environment. That was a huge leg-up and I’ve since come to believe that there is nothing quite like pair programming for helping you up your game.
Next, the Ruby community is amazing. They have produced an incredible body of tutorials, videos, and step by step instructions for helping a beginner get started in the language. It’s obvious how much they love the language and they show that by sharing it. Other new, shiny (hipster?) languages may be amazing, but I didn’t find such developed tutorials as I did in Ruby. (If you know of some for other languages, please do feel free to add a comment below so other people can find them). The tutorial I’ve chosen to follow is great in that it helps you through building an app step by step. It anticipates stumbling blocks. It lets you use the rails magic and then weans you off a bit. I’m just a few chapters in right now, so I might change my mind. But as a long time front-end developer dipping into the backend, I’m really enjoying this Rails Tutorial.
I’ve also decided to start writing about the experience, which means you my dear readers will see a bunch of newbie posts on this blog. Me struggling with routes, me finally getting the gist of debugging, or me asking questions about the underlying magic happening because I haven’t been able to find the dividing line between Rails and vanilla Ruby. That kind of thing. I hope you don’t mind the change in tone. It is important to me to spend time being both a teacher and student, and the last few years, writing exclusively about CSS, didn’t really give me the chance.
I’m really excited about this, and I hope you will be too.