Back to Programming Week 1

Back to Programming Week 1


Image is credited to Hidden Discoveries.

My last post related to programming ended off about Codecademy. Since then, I have honestly considered going back to do more of Javascript on Codecademy because 1) I started it so why shouldn’t I finish it? and 2) Javascript is an extremely useful tool, so it wouldn’t hurt to know more than what I do now.

But, I didn’t. I mean, I did go back but only found myself stuck on frustrating exercise about rock, paper, and scissors, that frankly, did not seem to help much about coding. It was on if/else argument that was nested, and while I do believe there were some errors, the feedback from Codecademy’s server was utterly not helpful. So, there went my last attempt to give Codecademy another shot.

(Those Angry Birds dolls will be great as a gift to anyone who feel frustrated after a day of programming…just FYI)

I considered two additional resources – Python the Hard Way and Eloquent Javascript. Both are very good books/websites, and while I briefly opened them, I soon closed them up. It was partially out of boredom (I already gave lengthy attempt to Python and somewhat beginning to Javascript), but also that I wanted something that would be more didactic and direct, but also practical enough that I can create something fresh with it. What I mean is this – I do not think it’s valuable use of time to hit on C or Java for many people unless you really really want to program software or application right away. Even then though, it takes quite a while to see the results, so web developments – at least from basic HTML/CSS/Javascript perspective – can deliver results “quicker.”

So, while I was surfing on Google like any other day, I stumbled back into Dev Bootcamp and couple other camps about web developments. They all advertise that you can learn how to program AND gain 80K salary in 9 weeks. Okay, let’s stop and think about that for a second. There are recent college grads, master’s grads, and even PhDs (don’t ask me why but these happen too) who cannot find decent jobs, let alone one of that high salary.

That’s when I read about Ruby on Rails.


Image is credited to Hidden Discoveries.

I’ve already “seen” Ruby before from Codecademy. Ruby was next to Python, and I’ve heard of this language before. But, there are a lot of languages, and I certainly wasn’t interested in picking another language just for being multilingual in programming world (yet). Now, Rails was a new term – and I soon went to library to pick up Beginning Rails 3 by Cloves Carneiro Jr. and Rida Al Barazi. Don’t get me wrong, but possibly because the book was outdated by 3 years, I found it really poorly written and not helpful.

The first difficulty was the installation part. Now, you might be thinking – installation isn’t really “programming” so how can anyone with decent brains can struggle?! But, with Ruby on Rails, you actually have to install bunch of things – there are Ruby, RubyGem, Bundler, Git, Rails (obviously), and database (Sqlite). It’s a lot of stuffs, and as with any installation, not doing it properly could devastate your journey on programming.

I first referred to Ruby on Rails website and that book, but it was difficult. While googling on articles about Ruby on Rails, I found a site called Rails Installer – which was absolutely amazing and easy to do (one-click installation for everything!). Now, if you own a Mac, your life would’ve been somewhat better, but me being a PC guy (**side note: this is being typed on iPad though**) at the moment, Rails Installer was like oasis in the desert.

So, the next thing happened was educational information. I “played” with Ruby by trying on and saw that there was a series of free videos about Ruby on Rails installation and making an app (and pushing it to GitHub) at Team Treehouse. Now, I was looking on Amazon more and Google, and saw that there is a developer named Michael Hartl, who has a FREE book on Ruby on Rails Tutorial. I was shocked – not because it was free, but this tutorial’s book version was well-reviewed in Amazon!

Before ending this post about week 1 (I’m not going to go details into my progress on the tutorial just yet – that’ll come next week hopefully), I’ll make one important comment about tutorial. I actually emailed Michael few days ago because I was struggling with Heroku with my Windows, so if any of you readers also wants to try this tutorial, I highly recommend you to possibly skip Heroku for now and just keep going. Besides that though, I am really happy I found this resource and look forward to how this turns out.

Follow me at Twitter @jiwpark00

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