27 Apr

Owning Rails: an Online Master Class

I initially learned Rails with the book Agile Web development with Rails, but the thing that made Rails click for me was not building a sample app, it was seeing all the design patterns I studied long and hard before being applied and playing well together. It didn’t take me long to pick up Rails and master it. And I know this is because the architecture and design choices behind it made so much sense to me.

Seeing all the Rails tutorials popping-up, I feel they are taking the wrong approach. I don’t think you can deeply understand Rails by playing with it’s APIs, building a simple app in a few hours. I think you need to understand how it works and everything will fall into place. Once you do, you are no longer feeling stuck in the framework.

So a few weeks ago, I was inspired by Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs’ Javascript Master Class in launching my own online class to teach Rails. I’ve always enjoyed teaching people about Rack, EventMachine, Thin, programming language creation and virtual machines at conferences and user groups. But I know the most useful thing I can teach is Rails. I truly believe that once you know enough about Rails you enjoy web development much more. But this is hard to understand until you actually do… know enough about Rails. And what is “enough”?

Well, from my experience, “enough” is understanding three key things:

  • the design patterns behind Rails
  • the naming conventions
  • the coding style

And you don’t need a CS degree to understand any of these and you certainly don’t need to know by heart any of the APIs.

That is why I’m using the same approach I’ve been using for years for teaching: with code. Not only with live coding sessions, but with code samples, straight from inside Rails, explaining how stuff work. I want to teach you how to read Rails code, and believe me, it’s way easier than some people think.

Register now for the May edition or my Owning Rails online Master Class!


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