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DC Ruby Users Group Message Board › July Meetup: Ruby Newbie Night

July Meetup: Ruby Newbie Night

Joshua S.
Group Organizer
Columbia, MD
Post #: 8
Hey all!

Like I mentioned last meeting, we're going to have a newbie-focused night for July's meetup, but we need your help!

We have some ideas on things to do, but we want to start a discussion so we know that we're serving the community the best we can.

If you're a newbie, what are you hoping to get from the event? Do you care more about Ruby itself or Ruby on Rails combined together? Are you coming from another programming language or are you totally new to programming?

We're also trying to decide on a lecture format (probably a set of short talks/lectures), or something more teamwork / pairing oriented (sit together in small groups and work through problems). Probably we'll end up somewhere in between, but what are your thoughts?

Well I don't know about you but I'm really excited to help new people join our community! Let's get this conversation started!

LisaSchaefer PhD C...
Vienna, VA
Post #: 22
Thanks for starting the discussion, Josh.

I guess I'm not a newbie anymore, but I'm not doing any Ruby without Rails. What I'd like to know is more about GOOD testing habits. What I take away from DCamp is useless testing. Something about troubleshooting techniques would be useful, but that can be so broad. I'm running into stupid glitches all the time that probably have little to do with Ruby & everything to do with database idiosyncrasies, AWS, heroku, probably even OS or firewall issues etc.

I like the idea of pair problem solving, but I'd like to work on more practical issues (such as troubleshooting) and none of this Game of Life crap. I already kick everyone's butt in math. I need to learn more about what's inside all these black boxes I use.
A former member
Post #: 1
I'd like there to be discussion about all things newbie -- where to take courses in Ruby (online and locally), how to become familiar with Ruby On Rails and Github (with an explanation of what they are exactly and what they look like), and how to land your first programming job. Also, what other resources are out there -- books, conferences, groups, etc.

In other words: how to go from complete novice to entry-level job in less than a year (if possible). Any speakers should assume their audience knows very little, if anything, about Ruby On Rails and Github.

A former member
Post #: 1
I'm a newbie but not a total newbie, perhaps something like design patterns could be presented in a way that is beneficial for total newbies as well as not so newbie newbies.
Also, if you don't mind updating the meetup with the details of what will be presented so we can all make an informed decision about coming, I'd appreciate that.
A former member
Post #: 2
To answer your specific questions:
If you're a newbie, what are you hoping to get from the event? ways to make myself less of a newbie by learning about more cool Ruby stuff which I don't know.
Do you care more about Ruby itself or Ruby on Rails combined together? I care more about Ruby but they seem to be like peanut butter and jelly.
Are you coming from another programming language or are you totally new to programming? Coming from other languages.
Lectures vs pairing? both sound cool! Pairing is more of a wildcard, I'd be curious to hear how you structure it.
A former member
Post #: 1
This was really useful advice I got from David Naffis, so I figured I should post it here so other people can read it:

Hi David,

I was just accepted to DevBootcamp (in SF / Chicago) and was wondering if it's a good idea. It costs ~$15,000 and is 9-weeks long. I don't want to live in SF or Chicago; I'd like to stay in DC.

Do you think the market for RoR developers in DC is healthy enough that I'd be able to find work after finishing this program?


Hi Nathan,

Could you tell me a little about yourself and your background. I think the answer will largely depend on those factors. Are you currently a developer looking to get a jump start on a new language/platform (Ruby/Rails) or are you new to development and looking to switch careers?

Without knowing that I would say that there is an insanely strong demand for Rails developers anywhere you go, including DC. It's supply and demand and in this case there are far more openings than there are qualified applicants. The key word is qualified. While intermediate and advanced developers can write their own ticket to varying degrees, the beginner might still have a difficult time finding that first job. That being said I've recently seen a dozen or so employers in this area who are hiring at that level. That landscape may change but it tends to wax and wane so you just wait it out. $15k is a lot of money but it's also the time invested, not only for the program itself, but the time it will take to find the right job after you complete the program. If you're patient afterwards then I think it's worthwhile.

I've heard great things about DevBootcamp and I've met a number of graduates who have all impressed me. It's a tough decision to make, but if you're fully committed to a career change I don't think you'll have any regrets.

If you do decide to attend, my recommendation to you would be:

1. Start creating immediately. Put it on Github. Employers will look at your Github account to validate you as a developer.

2. Get involved in open source. Pick a project you're interested in and just dive in. Don't be shy to ask for help. You'll not only learn a lot faster and from really smart people involved with the project, but you'll gain an immense amount of credibility. Don't be scared or intimated to do this. You can ease in and people will help.

3. You need real world experience to get hired. While the classes themselves are a head start, employers will want to know that you've worked on something real and not just experiments and assignments. If you can't find a job after graduating, do work for free part time. Volunteer yourself to a company or project that's public facing. Investing that time will pay dividends later.

I know that's a lengthy response, but it's a big decision and I wanted to give it the attention int deserves. Good luck and let me know what you decide.

Sis Summer J.
user 97887392
Washington, DC
Post #: 1
Hello, I am totally new to Ruby, and the II Field. After doing plenty research I decided to start with Ruby... so I have no experience. I am very determined to master this especially since I work from home now which gives me plenty of time to study...
Sis Summer J.
user 97887392
Washington, DC
Post #: 2
Thanks asked all the questions I wanted to
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