Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Getting back in shape 2

I told you a few weeks ago that I decided to get my feets wet using Ruby on Rails to work on a little project.

However, I soon realized that it was going to take more time than expected.

Even if I understand how Rails works, having a backgroung using other MVC frameworks, there is a wealth of things to know before starting.

Since I'm alone, I can't peek on an existing project, starting slowly by correcting bugs and so on, as I would do if I worked for a company: I have to learn enough about Rails before starting. Fortunately there are some very good books, so it's only a matter of time.

In the meanwhile, I still need to practice my Ruby. A programming language is like a foreign language: even if you know the grammar, if you want to be fluent, you have to use it.

I was thinking about what I could do: I needed a little project, self-contained so that it has a begining and a end, if possible with a deadline in order to prevent it from going out of hand. After all, I'm still looking for a job, and that has to be my main occupation.

I don't even know how I stumbled upon it: but I discovered the Ruby Programming Challenge for Newbie: every 2 weeks, you have a problem to solve, in Ruby.

It's a very cool idea: you work on a problem that you wouldn't necessarily have thought of (so it pushes you a bit out of your usual zone), you have a deadline, the solution can be pretty short which means that in my case I don't sacrifice too much time from my job searching, and you get reviewed by your peers (well in that case, your elders, since you are supposed to be new to Ruby), which is at the same time very scary and the best way to learn.

So I gave it a go, and finished yesterday. I'm submitting my solution today for review.

As expected, I learned a lot in the process and had a lot of fun. Being an hardcore perlist, I kind of got frustrated at Ruby sometimes but that's okay, the more I get the hang of it, the more I like it.

Now I have to wait till next week for the review! It's going to be a long few days :).


Tom said...

Very interesting. I am also learning Ruby.
Thanks for sharing.


G said...

Railscasts are a nice way of getting to know Ruby and Rails too:

Loïc said...

Thank you for the link :)

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