Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Advice to a fellow developer

Here's my advice to a fellow Java developer who asked me how to learn Ruby on Rails. Having gone 100% Ruby on Rails since October of last year, I had a lot to say:
Join a local Ruby group if you can find one in your area. I would say definitely get the newest version of the Rails book, but wait a month or two if a new version is about to come out. Older versions aren't useless, but things change every day. Even the newest book will be missing things before ink even touches paper. I highly recommend Rails for Java Developers as the fastest way for you to get up to speed. After slogging through the Ruby and Rails books, I found RfJD wished I had read it first. They build on what you know from Java instead of starting you from ground zero, and that will save you a lot of time. Build a couple of VERY SMALL projects first before you launch yourself on a big project. Your first few projects will be very messy and hard to maintain, despite your best intentions to the contrary. Practice Ruby with simple problems like the ones at Project Euler. Ask a lot of questions. Shun the Rails Wiki pages. The information there is generally a mix of wrong AND out of date. Watch Railscasts videos. Suffer gracefully. Ask more questions.
Got any more advice to share? Post it here!

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