I have finally finished reading Agile Web Development with Rails today - three months since I have started it.
I think the book does a good job in laying down the foundation of Rails. And as explained earlier, I like the book's approach of: build something first and learn later.
I thought after I finishing this book, I would become a Rails warrior and I can just raise my hand on Sydney Rails Meetup and say “hey folks I have coded in Rails for 3 months and finished this book, let's talk”. But I am still far from being a warrior, at best I am just a noob who happens to have finished a Rails book.
Why do I feel this way? Well, although I feel that the book has given me a good high level view of building application in Ruby on Rails - but I am still severely lacking in the basics. What basics that I am talking about here? There are a couple - things like Test Driven Development for instance - but to me my biggest shortfall at the moment is my understanding of the Ruby language itself.
Last week, I thought of working on solving a problem that has been bugging me for awhile. Basically I am trying to get RunKeeper to talk to DailyMile and so just like a Rubyist do - I go to github to find whether people have done something in the area.
I found out two gems that talk to RunKeeper and DailyMile API respectively and so my plan was to connect them together in a Sinatra application. The RunKeeper gem is fine, I can just use it as it is - the DailyMile gem however looks like missing a couple of functionality that I would need to make my application work. And so just like a true Rubyist - I forked the DailyMile gem and try to implement the missing functionality myself. And after looking at the source code for awhile - it dawns me that I actually need to know enough Ruby to do this!! I have actually finished reading Humble Little Ruby book a while back, but it looks like I have forgotten most of it..
And so I was brought down to earth again after flying high in hope. But not all is lost though, my copy of Well Grounded Rubyist is on the way, going through this would hopefully get me more grounded. I am also toying with the idea of approaching one of these guys to mentor me and/or attending the hack nights, there's only so much you can learn by yourselves - I believe pair programming will get you a lot further. And my another secret wish is, to actually finish this project so I can present it on #rorosyd meetup - looks unlikely but hey..
I have also bought Rails 3 in Action which is co-written by fellow aussie Ryan Bigg - just by looking at the table of content alone, I feel this will be a meatier read compared to Agile Web Development with Rails. And yes I do hope to learn a thing or two about Engines.
So there is still a long way to go for me to become an actual Rubyist 0r RoRist - but I feel I am on the right path.
The other path is .NET - but the journey has just been a disappointment after a disappointment .. let's just not go there…
Oh by the way - I managed to deploy my Sinatra toy app to Heroku!