Posts Tagged ‘GitHub’

Banking On Rails

Over the years, I’ve watched the Ruby on Rails (RoR) community really grow.  Being a Delphi (and classic ASP) programmer, the language really appealed to me.  I still think Delphi has the best object-oriented implementation in the client/server environment.  Because RoR seemed similar to me, I started reading up on it a few years ago.

RoR is open source, which wasn’t an option for use at work, but I loved the potential of the language.  Now that I’ve started on my magical journey, I’ve decided to dive head first into the language.

Over the years, I’ve built quite a library of books and PDFs on the language.  However, I’m more of a “hands-on” kinda guy.  So last month I attended the Ruby on Rails course offered by Pragmatic Studio.  This class included three days of hands-on training and was taught by Chad Fowler and Dave Thomas.  Considering the contributions of these two to the Rails community, I’m not sure I could have had better instructors.

I highly recommend this course and will be taking Part II once I have a bit more experience under my belt.  The only criticism I had was, there wasn’t an “answer key” given at the end for all the exercises.  It would have been nice to use as a reference.

My friend Tom Wilson, over at Jack Russell Software, also recommended Code School, which is developed by Envy Labs.  There are two Rails courses available on the site, Rails for Zombies and Rails Best Practices. Both are split into five lessons with multiple exercises that you complete in the browser.  If you get stuck, you are able to get hints that will help you complete the exercise.

I went into these courses thinking it would be about basic stuff that I can read in any Rails book.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  Quite a few of the exercises dealt with material that was more advanced than the material reviewed with Pragmatic Studio.  I think it would be in the best interest of any level Rails developer to go through both of these online courses.  I’m sure you’ll come away with something new that you’ve learned.  Rails for Zombies is free while Rails Best Practices is currently being offered at a discount for $45.

I’ve already started to apply the knowledge I gained from Code School into the project I’m working on.  One thing I’ve learned from the courses at Pragmatic Studio and Code School is, I really need to start digging into the Rails framework.  Also, I need to live on GitHub.  Looking over the code from other people is another great way to learn.  I always seem to find that in Rails, there’s an easier way to accomplish your goal.

If you’ve been thinking about incorporating Ruby and/or Rails into your development environment, you’ll be in good company.  There are quite a few FinTech companies that use Ruby on Rails.  Some examples are The Garland Group, Geezeo, Jwaala, and BankSimple. If things work out, my start-up will be another.

BarCamp In Charleston

October 27, 2009 1 comment

This past weekend I attended the first BarCampCharleston.  I must say, this event was as fun and enlightening as I thought it would be.  Thanks to all that put the event together.  And special thanks to the Lowcountry Innovation Center for hosting the event.  If I ever do a startup, I’ll be looking there for space.

One thing I discovered was, it really sucks that you can’t be in two places at once.  While I enjoyed all the sessions I attended, I regret missing a couple of the other cool ones.  I think my high school drum skills would have helped me in the Rock Band Challenge. Also, there were a few times that  I thought, “what the @*&% are they talking about?”  I really need to do a lot of tech reading in my spare time.  Apparently, there is a lot I need to learn about Github and Amazon Web Services.

In another session, I finally got to see how @jaredwsmith does his weather tracking magic.  Who knew there were so many free tools to track weather?  Also, thanks goes to @bank_daddy for sending the Google Wave invite.  Now I feel like a hip techie.

BaconCamp, the last session I attended, was a bacon lover’s dream.  Ted, from Ted’s Butcher Block brought in a couple hundred samples of bacon.  Let me tell you, that stuff you get at your local grocery store does not compare.  I still have applewood bacon flashbacks.

Now that I’ve attended a BarCamp, I can really see the need for BarCampBank.  I don’t know if we can get 130+ attendees, but I’d sure like to try.  So what do you think, BarCampBankCharleston in February 2010?