Season of Ruby – Iteration 2 Retrospective

Things are coming together well with the Season of Ruby.  Getting out of my comfort zone was a driving theme and there has been some discomfort, but I am now establishing a new comfort zone, familiarizing myself with a new language and new tools.  There is still a lot of work to do, but I am really pleased with how things are going.  And with that, on to the retrospective.

What Went Well

  • Got to write more code this iteration.  I wrote a Ruby implementation of Conway’s Game of Life.  I really love to code and sometimes I don’t get to do that enough in my day job.  Solving a problem was a lot of fun.
  • I stayed true to TDD, which is my standard way of working, but given the new tools it is important to stay true.  So far I have been using test-unit, but I also got a look at some RSpec.
  • Played around with forking a project on github, starting to get more comfortable with the workflow.

What Can Be Improved On

  • I hit a roadblock with TDD when I got to a point where in .NET I would use a mocking framework.  The reason I wanted to mock was because I was interested in testing behavior and not state.  I wanted to know that the GameOfLife class was interacting with the Cell class in the correct sequence.  Need to understand how that type of testing would be done under Ruby.
  • I need to understand how to structure my projects in Ruby.  That will mean looking at more code and also learning tools like Rake.
  • Start thinking about the overall roadmap of this adventure.  I’m into it far enough now that I am starting to feel comfortable with the tools, now it is time to start doing some longer range (1-2 month) planning.
What Am I Going To Do To Improve Things

I still have some work on Ruby fundamentals, but I would like to get a simple Rails project under my belt to give me some context and also to start the long term thinking.  I was considering the Ruby on Rails Guides, but now think I will take a crack at Michael Hartl’s tutorial.  It seems a little richer and also seems to really focus on testing.

Iteration 3 Stories

“Stories” is a reach this iteration.  I am back into uncharted waters with Rails.  I don’t know what I don’t know yet.  Instead I will just put in at least 6 hours on  Michael Hartl’s tutorial
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