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Re: Re: [NYC-rb] a RoR class for developers @ GA in January

From: Akshay K.
Sent on: Thursday, December 22, 2011 7:06 AM
Sorry boys but this is a complete ripoff no matter who is paying or how you slice it. If you are going to be "shamelessly advertising" on the list then it's __fair_play if you get some blowback from the list. I have nothing against paying money or even a lot of money for education. It would make a ton of sense if you were paying someone who is an authority on the subject for some one on one time for some advanced coverage that is specific to your needs. But this is essentially paying 2800$ to two guys in a truck. As Will would say you could get a better education for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.

As someone coming from a systems background who just started doing some web development I taught myself Ruby and Rails and it was nowhere near 2800$.  Maybe it saves someone some time and money so I thought I'd share my experience. This is assuming you want to use Rails for something non trivial. Before I stared I asked a few people I respected that had been working with Rails  for some time on what the best course of action was to begin learning. Most of the stuff they told me was not that great. Not because they didn't know it but it had been a while since they had learnt and things had changed. There is much better material out there now. The usual advice was good enough to do trivial stuff but useless for anything beyond that and I found myself reading Rails source which is precisely what I wanted to avoid doing because I had 2 months to build a prototype while simultaneously trying to learn web development. It was either find some decent resources or use Catalyst.

- First off don't listen to anyone who says you don't need to know Ruby to start learning Rails. That is just utter nonsense. Not only do you need to know Ruby you need to know it well. Pickup David Black's Well Grounded Rubyist. It's very well written and covers everything you need to know as far as Ruby goes. A good second book would be Metaprogramming Ruby by Paolo Perrotta. Again extremely well written and you will quickly pickup the Ruby idioms. That's all the Ruby you need to know for < 50$ on amazon. That should take you about a week or 2 weeks or maybe a bit more depending on your pace.

- As far as Rails goes I'd highly recommend Rails 3 in Action by Ryan Biggs and Yehuda. Ryan writes a lot of documentation for Rails and he is always extremely helpful and Yehuda is on the Rails and jquery core. Ryan goes by Radar on IRC and you can get help on the book forums as well. The book covers building a sample ticketing application using BDD w/ rspec & cucumber. It cover Rails 3.1 and is current. Apart from the usual Rails begineer stuff it covers authentication and authorization using Devise and CanCan, ActionMailer, testing mail setup, designing/rate limiting an API, deployment, OAuth, delayed jobs, caching, writing  a Rails Engine, Rack, middleware, Sinatra, mounting a rack application in Rails etc. All the other books were too trivial to be useful.

For a second book I'd say use Jose Valim's Crafting Rails Application. He is the author of Devise and on the core team. It covers a ton of useful topics like writing generators, railties, rendering stack, active model, nosql examples and more. That's another 2 weeks and 50$ more to learn Rails.

Again depending on your pace it should be 2-4 weeks or slightly longer.

- Then look at the Rails guides, IRC, railscasts, stackoverflow. Google is your friend, use it.

So in 6 weeks and less than a 100$ you have some solid understanding of the framework and Ruby. You can send the other 2700$ to the human fund. Happy Festivus!

Best,
Akshay

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