Iteration 4? Wait, shouldn’t I be on Iteration 5? Yes, but as expected work reared its ugly head and the Season of Ruby got pushed to the back of the line.
I am now through Chapter 8 of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial. I wish I had tracked the actual time spent on the tutorial, that would have been useful information for anyone wishing to follow the same roadmap. I would estimate I have spent around 14-16 hours through the first 8 chapters.
What Went Well
In the interest of trying to get as much as possible, I am resisting the urge to cut-and-paste from the tutorial. You learn a lot from mistakes, big and small, so there is a lesson to be learned when you type “name” or “@name” when what you really needed to type “:name”.
I still think one of the strengths of this tutorial is the focus on TDD. As I have started to get more comfortable with the environment, I have also been trying to implement solutions on my own after writing the tests from the tutorial. That makes me feel like I am starting to get more of a lay of the land.
Used the FactoryGirl gem to simulate model objects for testing.
Got my shiny new MacBook Pro and have switched all my Ruby and Rails development from Windows. It was really cool once the environment was set up to grab the repo of github and pick up right where I left off. BTW, I used the thoughtbot laptop project to get my system all set up for Rails development. Went pretty smoothly.
What Can Be Improved On
I feel a little like how I felt during the Ruby Koans, that I am gaining a false sense of knowledge by following the tutorial. It has been really helpful to get me moving forward with Rails, but you are still following a well-defined roadmap.
I want to finish the tutorial because I think there are several more lessons to learn and it will be a great reference to look back on, but I am anxious to start from a clean sheet of paper and make a ton of mistakes. That is when the real learning will happen.
I have been pretty good about not doing a lot of cut-and-paste from the tutorial, but at times it is hard. Just need to keep forcing myself to resist doing that.
What Am I Going To Do To Improve
The most learning has come in cases where I have tried to implement my own solutions after using the tests as provided from the tutorial. From this point on, that will be the approach I will use. Then when I have a passing test I can look at the tutorial and compare my solution against the tutorial solution and take that as a refactoring exercise. It may take longer, but it will pay dividends down the line.
Iteration 5 Stories/Tasks
Chapters 9 and 10 of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, implementing my own solutions first after using the tutorial tests to get to “red”.