I’m sure that all of us in our lifetime have tried to learn a language whether it be a spoken dialect, work terminology, or a programming language. And there are several ways aren’t there? There’s the nice structured way, perhaps in a classroom? Paint by numbers, the self-taught option using a book, the web, a bunch of tutorials, trial and error, the list goes on and on.
Well, I can’t being in a classroom nor am I a good painter so I tried to learn Rails by throwing myself in the deep end; looking at the inkscroll code and found a couple basic “Hello World!” Rails application tutorials on the web to try out. However, I didn’t get far and was out of my depth staring at inkscroll code trying to make sense of it. In the end I had to go out and spend my hard earned ££ on a book. Amazon has over 40 books on Ruby on Rails, hard to choose… in the end, I went for Agile Web Development with Rails: A Pragmatic Guide (version 2). Yes, its got a long title, its out-of-date and its based on pre- Rails 2.0, but I got to peak inside before buying it and liked the layout and style of the authors (congrats!). Plus paying £18 on the Internet instead of £29 from a bookshop kind of appealed to me. It’s 720 pages and I know that it will be a handy reference guide away from the screen or a great door stopper.
Anyway, after a couple of hours reading and flicking through, I tried out its tutorial led examples. Very impressive. I had to concentrate and learn how to resolve things that had changed since the book release and what’s currently out there at the moment. A sharp learning curve (had to learn how to get around a new IDE environment) but after a couple false starts it is being to look less hazy. I might just take another look at the inkscroll code. But in the meantime, I hope they come out with a new version soon for Rails 2.1.0!