Re: [ruby-81] - tips for teen ultra-novice beginners

From: Carina C. Z.
Sent on: Monday, February 25, 2008 6:40 PM
It depends on what your son's interest is.  Assuming he's looking to do more than dabble briefly, and envisions programming as a potential college major or career pursuit:

Rails isn't best approached as a beginner topic.  Working usefully with Rails requires a bunch of foundation skills, including understanding OOP (e.g. above), Ruby (obviously), as well as HTML, HTTP, at least a smattering of relational database management theory plus practical skills for dealing with one's DBMS of choice (e.g. MySQL, Sqlite, etc.), and at least enough commandline basics to handle Rails app deployment and web server config.  There are plenty of people who manage to make working Rails apps without having these foundation skills, but it severely limits how far they can go beyond just following other people's recipes or dropping in other people's code.  The Agile book is a great introduction to Rails, but lousy as an introduction to programming.

I second Billy's sentiment to develop good programming skills from the get-go, which will serve him well in any language.  While I'm not sure that necessarily requires learning Java or C++ before Ruby, starting with one of them is certainly the standard start-of-track in the academic setting, so at his age it's worth taking that into consideration.  It's easy to find a Java or C++ course, and he'll learn a lot about theory and practice of object oriented programming (making it an easy jump over to Ruby any number of other languages) while potentially getting a few college credits done.  One way to get started with programming is with 'The Pragmatic Programmer', a book chock full of practical advice that helps keep programming enjoyable and productive.  That book won't teach him code, but it will teach him how to be a good coder.  'Programming Ruby' by Dave Thomas (aka 'the pickaxe book') is a thorough intro to the language itself, with extensive reference info.


On the other hand, if he's just wants to dabble a bit, and is looking for a quick payoff, O'Reilly Publishing's 'Learning Ruby' should do.  It's a considerably more brief intro to the language.  The final chapter is a Rails tutorial.  He can whip through it in no time.  My only criticism of that one is that it focuses more on showing code than explaining why it works or what the point is.  Pragmatic Publishing's 'Learn to Program' is shorter, but manages to give more explanation of concepts.  It uses Ruby to teach fundamentals of object oriented programming, and is aimed right as his age group and skill level.

If he's got the time, I'd suggest this sequence: Learn to Program, The Pragmatic Programmer, Programming Ruby.


On 2/25/08, Billy <[address removed]> wrote:
If programming is going to be your son's future, I feel it's important that he learns techniques that Java or C++ teach first before moving on to other easier languages. I see it as using a calculator before knowing what the calculator is actually doing behind the scenes. Ruby and Rails makes things very easy for you, but if you don't know why things have been made easy, it will make it more difficult to transition to other languages and frameworks where you don't have the luxury of relying on the language to do everything for you. It really depends on if its going to be his career, or just something for him to mess around with for fun for the time being.

On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 4:56 PM, Gautam Sampathkumar <[address removed]> wrote:
Agile Web development with Rails is a great book to get started with. The book works through building a RoR app. Just follow along with each chapter and that should get him off to a great start.

Good luck,
Gautam


On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM, Bess Ho <[address removed]> wrote:
Get a free RoR acct thru Joyent and Facebook. Start with facebook RoR framework kit. It comes with instruction how to build one.

On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 3:58 PM, Jessica Margolin <[address removed]> wrote:
My 15 y/o son wants to learn Ruby, Rails.
He doesn't program at all.  Great at math/science, though. Visually oriented.

Any suggestions on ways for him to start?

Thanks!
-Jessica

On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 6:59 PM, Aaron Tavistock <[address removed]> wrote:
I'm not sure if anyone else is going to this, but O'Reilly offers admission discounts for users groups.  I inquired on behalf of the East Bay group and got this back:

"
Hi Aaron

Here you go

RailsConf 2008
May 29-June 1, 2008
Oregon Convention Center
Portland, OR
<http://www.railsconf.com>

The user group discount code for this year is "rc08usrg" and is good for 15% off the registration price.

Feel free to post this to your mailing list.

Marsee
"




--
Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
http://ruby.meetup.com/81
This message was sent by Aaron Tavistock ([address removed]) from The East Bay Ruby Meetup Group.
To learn more about Aaron Tavistock, visit his/her member profile: http://ruby.meetup.com/81/members/4375183/
To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here: http://www.meetup.com/account/?tab=comm

Meetup.com Customer Service: [address removed]
632 Broadway New York NY 10012 USA




--
Jessica Margolin
[masked]
Solvation - kitode.typepad.com
Community Playbook Project - kitode.typepad.com/playbooks



--

Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Jessica Margolin ([address removed]) from The East Bay Ruby Meetup Group.
To learn more about Jessica Margolin, visit his/her member profile

To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here

Meetup.com Customer Service: [address removed]
632 Broadway New York NY 10012 USA



--
Bess Ho






--
Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Bess Ho ([address removed]) from The East Bay Ruby Meetup Group.
To learn more about Bess Ho, visit his/her member profile

To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here

Meetup.com Customer Service: [address removed]
632 Broadway New York NY 10012 USA





--
Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Gautam Sampathkumar ([address removed]) from The East Bay Ruby Meetup Group.
To learn more about Gautam Sampathkumar, visit his/her member profile

To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here

Meetup.com Customer Service: [address removed]
632 Broadway New York NY 10012 USA





--
Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Billy ([address removed]) from The East Bay Ruby Meetup Group.
To learn more about Billy, visit his/her member profile
To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here

Meetup.com Customer Service: [address removed]
632 Broadway New York NY 10012 USA

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy