Season of Ruby – Iteration 3 Retrospective

I am now a month into the  Season of Ruby, so aside from the usual retrospective, it is a good time to reflect on what I have learned to this point.  In the last month I have made the following strides:

  • Set up a github account and pushed code up to it.
  • Re-familiarized myself with git and got more practice using it on a day-to-day basis, creating and merging branches, as well as pushing code to github and heroku.
  • Learning the basics of Ruby and used it to develop an implementation of the Conway’s Game of Life
  • Picked up a little Rails with the Ruby on Rails Tutorial

What Went Well

  • I am really enjoying the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, not just for how it teaches Rails, but as much for the developer practices that it encourages.
  • Gave some thought to the overall roadmap of where I want to go for the next few months.  I thought this website gave a good picture and though I will customize it a bit, I think a lot of the areas I want to build on are covered here.  For me the areas that I want to focus on in the next few months are a strong foundation in Ruby along with a better understanding of JavaScript (and CoffeeScript), and CSS.  I have a few ideas about an app I can put together that will provide an opportunity to strengthen those areas.

What Can Be Improved On

  • Practice, practice, practice.  The tutorial is really helping me put all this together, but I need to keep repeating the lessons to make sure it sinks in.  Similar to what I went through with the Ruby Koans, I don’t want to develop a false sense of understanding, so I need to keep writing code and making sure to dig beneath the surface.
What Am I Going To Do To Improve Things

To make sure I am really grokking the lessons from the tutorial, I think it would be a good idea to take a few hours at the end of this iteration and write a simple app.  Something similar in complexity to the micro-blogging example in the tutorial. It doesn’t need to be a complete application, but the parts I get to need to be “right”, so I will time-box it at 3 hours. Does not need to be visually pretty.

Iteration 4 Stories/Tasks

Keep chugging away on the Ruby on Rails tutorial.  I am through chapter 5, but this is going to be a long week at work, so I would like to be able to get through chapters 6 & 7 this week.

To make sure I am really absorbing the tutorial lessons, develop a simple application without referring back to the tutorial documentation.  Going through other documentation is OK, e.g. StackOverflow, Ruby Core Docs, Rails Guides.  Time-box it at 3 hours, and follow good developer practices, i.e. use TDD, git/github.  Application is TBD, but should be similar in complexity to the micro-blogging example.

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