Source code study group

If there’s one piece of advice that is given a lot for getting better at
programming it’s reading source code. As a beginner it can be quite
intimidating but as I have gotten better at ruby and acquainted with
various patterns and idioms it started to be less of a brain strain and
more fun.

But for those times where I’m truly stumped - and there are many - I
often think wouldn’t it be great if there were a few other people
studyign the same code to bounce questions off. Study groups aren’t a
new thing. They’re tried and tested means to improving quicker.

So my question is, is anyone interested in forming some kind of small
study group, perhaps focusing on one project at a time and helping each
other to improve at this essential skill?

We could either start a thread here for a project, read the code by
ourselves and post questions re sticking points? Or we could do it on
the projects own google group.

I initially thought of github, but I dont know, it feels more like a
place to discuss bugs and how to take a project forward. I feel like im
being a nuisance asking what may seem like obvious questions - or am i
mistaken on this?

Hiya Adam,

Could be good to do, I’d be interested in looking at doing this and
might be able to get a few others involved. Do you have any projects in

Perhaps picking a project and forking on Github, adding comments and
then an evening a week over Skype to do a walk-through?

One caveat would be the level of skill of those participating, though I
guess the main problem would be ground rules and getting folks involved


Hi Dave

Any project is fine. Something people are like to use reguarly may be a
good selection criteria. E.g. Factory Girl, Rack for web dev crowd.

I didnt think about forking the project but thats perfect.

The skype call is also a good idea. One problem is time zones. Im in
Japan but im sure I can wake up early, stay up late to get involved.

I think just being being able to annotate commits with comments is going
to great. Just having pure source code reading discussion in the code
itself will be really useful.

Skill level wise - well Im not guru but I can get through most code. I
think having differing skill levels is a good thing though. It means
beginners can get to grips with reading quickly and the higher level
participants can get value by explaining things. As Einstein once said,
if you can’t explain it to a 6 year old you don’t know it (liberal
quoting there).

The more the merrier so if you know some others who may be interested
bring them onboard!