Fastest learning path to RoR


#1

hi!

with a 4GL background, wanting to learn RoR, what is the fastest
learning path i should take? should i go grab a RoR tutorial, and learn
Ruby along the way, or start with plain Ruby first?

thanks for any inputs!


#2

On Thu, Apr 06, 2006 at 05:49:40PM +0800, Joey S. Eisma wrote:
} with a 4GL background, wanting to learn RoR, what is the fastest
} learning path i should take? should i go grab a RoR tutorial, and
learn
} Ruby along the way, or start with plain Ruby first?

In my experience, when someone claims a 4GL background it usually
indicates
a lack of programming background, and almost always indicates a lack of
programming discipline. You may or may not fit with this experience.

If you do, your first step should be to learn about programming in
general
before concerning yourself with a particular library or framework like
Rails. I have heard good things about Chris P.'s book Learn to
Program,
which you can find here: http://pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/fr_ltp/

If you do not (or once you’ve followed the first step above), you should
start on the Ruby on Rails site http://www.rubyonrails.org/. Under
“Get
Better” there is a two-part tutorial at O’Reilly that I found very
useful
in getting started with Rails. (There’s also a third part that someone
named Amy has supplied.) Once you’ve gone through that, you’ll have some
idea of how to get started. If you decide to continue, you will want
both
the Pickaxe book http://pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/ruby/index.html
and the Agile book
http://pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/rails/index.html
for further insight and reference.

} thanks for any inputs!
–Greg


#3

Hi Joey,

Joey S. Eisma wrote:

with a 4GL background, wanting to learn
RoR, what is the fastest learning path i should
take? should i go grab a RoR tutorial, and learn
Ruby along the way, or start with plain Ruby first?

The path I took and will recommend is…

  1. Work through Curt’s “Rolling with Ruby on Rails” tutorial
    (http://instantrails.rubyforge.org/tutorial/index.html)
  2. Buy the “Agile Web D. with Rails” book and work through the
    Depot application therein
  3. Buy the “Programming Ruby” (aka Pickaxe) book

I didn’t start with a committment to learn Ruby. I started with a ? "Is
this something worth investing my time in? Each step led me to the next
quite naturally. Curt’s Instant Rails package removed any barriers to
entry, and his tutorial led me to the point of “Wow! I can do that?
(after
a 10 year hiatus in management)” AWDwR took me to the next level of
capability and interest (‘interest’ is putting it mildly). Now that
I’ve
got the basics, I need Pickaxe to take it to the next level.

One other thing that I couldn’t have done without, at any stage, is this
list. It’s truly a community that’s supportive and helpful. It makes
me
want to give back.

hth,
Bill


#4

Personally, I have noticed that people who learn Ruby first and read
pickaxe
before going into Rails tend to be much stronger programmers in the long
run. That’s no offence to people out there who still aren’t comfortable
with
Ruby, but then again, you probably know why I’m saying this.

Rails uses some really wonderful and awesome techniques which all centre
around some of the metaphors built into Ruby itself. And, to really
get
what’s going on when you code a Rails application, you have to have that
Ruby skill there ready to read the Rails source code.

I took about two weeks and read the pickaxe book and was enthralled just
by
the beauty of Ruby itself. Then, I moved on and read the Agile Rails
book.

I’m in the minority around here probably with these opinions, but read
the
books first! Tutorials will always be incredibly lacking in explanation.
If
you’re not convinced that Rails is cool, then glance through a tutorial
and
say “wow”. Then, go focus the discipline to actually read a book.

I promise you, while this method is a little more heavy on the front
end,
you will be ready to write some really amazing Ruby code to drive your
applications.

-hampton catlin.


#5

I totally agree with Hampton at least concerning the need to learn basic
ruby first.

Beeing a real newbie with Rails I’ve lost (and still losing) many times
on problems that would be trivials for a medium level Ruby programmer.

So, learn basics about some Ruby specific aspects (yielding comes to
mind) and you will avoid losing hours on your route.rb file :wink:


#6

Honestly, the straight dope is that it takes time, the most important
thing
is to view the process as a journey, everybody starts off in the same
place

  • not knowing a thing about either Rails or about Ruby, and then goes
    from
    there to knowing a little bit more each day. My recommendation is to
    give
    yourself some time to learn, succeed, and totally $#!$ things up, Rails
    definitely makes big things happen dramatically but that’s not to say
    that
    it’s easy or doesn’t take a lot of effort to learn. Rails is built on
    the
    idea of conventions and there is no way you are going to learn these
    conventions without spending time on them, additionally Ruby takes a
    long
    time to completely grok and if you are coming from a static language
    environment, it may confound you with it’s mysteries that will seem as
    alien
    as the arches of Atlantis but slowly over time you’ll be enchanted by
    it’s
    magic.

Once you get past the initial discomfort you’ll find yourself at the
entrance to a road with a thousand paths and each one of them offers
something to learn about Rails, software development, and the practice
of
programming in general, and by this time you are well on your way down
the
road of Ruby riches only at this point you will not care where you end
up,
only that you can continue with no end, and if you should venture so far
that you come to where the Ruby meets the sea…

Why the poignant will post something on
Redhanded.comhttp://redhanded.com/that will make you say WTF?

And you’ll start all over again…

  1. Read AWDWROR
  2. Get Pickaxe and learn Ruby independent of Rails
  3. Do the tutorial in AWDWROR
  4. Dream up an app
  5. Start building it.
  6. Get confused
  7. Feel the urge to want to get help
  8. Don’t
  9. Figure out the solution
  10. Feel the urge again to want to get help on something else
  11. Do
  12. Make sure you are writing tests with your code, TDD(Test Driven
    Development) is crucial to writing Rails apps like a pro.
  13. Get a cheap web host that supports rails and deploy the app to your
    webhost with Capistrano.
  14. Get Chad F.'s ‘Ruby Recipes’
  15. Get David Black’s ‘Ruby for Rails developers’
  16. Subscribe to the Rails weblog, and search out other Blogs on rails.
  17. Look at Typo to see examples of elegant code.
  18. Look at the source to learn more about Rails and Ruby, ‘gem unpack
    rails’ to a handy directory so you can inspect the innards of Rails
    easily.
  19. Ask yourself what you know about blocks and metaprogramming,
    understand
    what method_missing does for ActiveRecord.
  20. Look around smell the roses and all of sudden realize that you are a
    much different developer than when you first started
  21. Try and help a newb out with all of your new found wisdom.
  22. Profit

Takes about 3 - 12 months to get started… and goes on forever.

Welcome to the show

Tim C.
removed_email_address@domain.invalid


#7
  1. Try to make a real app. Only then you will learn the ropes.
  2. HAVE FUN !!!

#8

joey se wrote:

hi!

with a 4GL background, wanting to learn RoR, what is the fastest
learning path i should take? should i go grab a RoR tutorial, and learn
Ruby along the way, or start with plain Ruby first?

thanks for any inputs!

I’d definitely recommend starting with learning Ruby, building a few
small apps (and at least one non-trivial program) in Ruby first.

I originally started with Curt H.’ Rails tutorial, but while I could
follow the steps and do what the tutorial asked, I didn’t feel like I
was grasping it without knowing the specifics of Ruby. Its syntax is
pretty straightforward but it has a few interesting concepts like
symbols, blocks, and others that I needed to understand before being
able to do anything interesting in Rails.

Jeff


#9

This is my philosophy also. It goes like this:

  1. Write some cool stuff in Ruby.
  2. Study Rails.
  3. Build some cool Rails thing.

You can get stuff up and running extremely quickly with Rails, and
that’s very cool, but I like to balance impatient work with patient
study.

Of course (from Wikipedia) it looks as if that flies in the face of
the whole concept of 4GL, so you might just want to hop to step 3, but
I wouldn’t recommend it.

On 4/6/06, Hampton removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

I took about two weeks and read the pickaxe book and was enthralled just by


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Giles B.
www.gilesgoatboy.org