Topic: What was your pre-RoR background?

If you were a programmer before you started with RoR what was your background?  My impression is that RoR appears to attract people from a very wide background and that variety should provide a great strength to the community, as long as we all respect the various paths that brought people to Rails.

Me, I was a computer scientist in school, focusing on AI type stuff.  Started working with PHP in 2000 when I was recruited for a side project with a lot of non-programmer helpers.  I got introduced to TDD and formalized refactorings about a year ago and I love the way it helps keep me honest in my development.  I've dabbled with Java for both desktop and web applications.  I've normally used PostGreSQL as my database of choice, and have traditionally made a lot of use of business logic in the DB.

Finding Ruby and Rails has been a wonderful experience so far; I love the expressive power of Ruby, brings me back to my school days with Scheme and Haskell -- real closures and lambdas smile and fewer parentheses wink

My RoR journey  -- thoughts on learning RoR and lessons learned in applying TDD and agile practices.

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

I did a bit of work in C but my background has followed a pretty linear progression: HTML -> ASP -> XHTML -> LAMP -> RoR

Since Ruby is my first *real* OO language and Rails is my first MVC framework  I've been astounded at just how much I'd been missing all those years I wrote PHP.  I used to be able to get away with anything, now I have to write quality code :-)

Last edited by danger (2006-06-18 14:22:28)

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

I started in 99 with Perl writing web applications.  Naturally when I learned about PHP I jumped all over it.  Later I was forced into writing some JSPs.  As I learned what Java was really about  I warmed up to it.  Eventually I learned to love Java.

A few years ago I started thinking, someone should write a language specifically for web development.  PHP was that, but I'm talking about MVC and real tiered web application development.  While Rails is still a framework, it fit that bill for me.

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

HTML -> Javascript -> Visual Basic 6 (college) -> ASP -> CSS/XHTML -> Java/JSP -> PHP -> Rails

That's in order pretty much. PHP has pretty much only been used on personal/freelance projects and that's going over to the Rails side more and more. My current day job has me writing JSP/servlet stuff and it might be staying that way for a long time.

vinnie - rails forum admin

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

For the web: HTML > Javascript > PHP > Ruby on Rails
Off the web is a long and lonely road: Basic > qbasic > visual basic > c > c++ > perl > java > ruby and I'm sure there are a few others in there.

I've been doing PHP development since the late 90's and Ruby on Rails development for about a year now. I like having a lot of tools in the toolbox and with PHP and RoR I've got the best tools for the job I think.

Most code examples are usually pulled out of the air and not tested. Use at your own risk!

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

On the web: HTML > PHP > CSS > JavaScript > XHTML > Rails
Off the web: C > REALbasic > Objective-C/Cocoa > Ruby

I learned OOP through Objective-C which really helped when learning Ruby. Objective-C is also an enjoyable language to work in, although more low-level than Ruby.

Railscasts - Free Ruby on Rails Screencasts

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

I started with Fortran but that just shows how old I am.  Then into C and C++ but by the early 1990s I'd pretty much stopped programming and only dabbled in scripting languages such as Perl and ASP/VB when I got involved in the web from 1996.  I did a bit of Java but not much.

Since setting up my own business last year, I've done some PHP work (which seems a lot like Perl to me) and then found Ruby and Rails.  Ruby is a fabulous language, even for someone like me who predates OO and feels like he's had to take his brain out, turn it by 90 degrees and pop it back in again.  Rails is superbly thought out but the speed with which it deprecates features can be a bit disconcerting.  A lot of the built-in Ajax stuff I was building in last year has now been replaced by cleverer built-in Ajax stuff leaving me with the dilemma of recoding those pages or allowing my app to become 'out of date'.  Examples I used last year (for example using @params instead of params) are still on the web but now clearly wrong.  I pity any GCP practitioner starting on Rails.

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

I started playing with website design 8 years ago, just for personal stuff, then started running a large online community site for the computer game, Halo in January 2000 (before it was an XBOX game).

Through running that site and getting frustrated with the quality of the free messageboard software available at the time, I decided I could do better so started learning PHP (I'd dabbled briefly with Perl before and been scared off). By the end of the summer, I had working code that replaced the crap we'd been using (UltraBoard iirc - it kept deleting posts for no reason).

I've been writing PHP/MySQL apps since then, mixed with a Software Engineering BSc and a short stint at a computer game developer in the North East of England. My job since graduating has been as a PHP developer/web designer though I'm moving much more towards RoR now, having seen the light smile

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

To be honest, I only built my first web application last year even though I had been programming for almost 8 years. My background before rails was Java and C# mostly, but after I did about 8 web apps in Java and didn't like the stress of it, I was ready to move on to a new way.
It's funny, because Ruby on Rails makes me a lazy programmer. I figure, well, it will only take one line or two lines of code, I'll do it tommorrow.
So I guess like Spiderman, I'll have to learn that with great power comes great responsibility or thereabouts.

qbasic -> pascal -> Haskell (fleetingly) -> Java -> C# -> Ruby

Last edited by daibatzu (2006-07-16 13:10:09)

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

My background was five years as a management consultant and then an MBA, before coming to ruby on rails to get my startup web business off the ground.

I had to program a little in C for my undergraduate (in maths), and a tiny bit of visual basic in my old job to optimise Excel models but I've been amazed at how fast I've got a basic site up and running, we are talking six weeks from scratch - its a remarkable tool, that is going to change the way start-ups operate (I think!!)

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

My first web apps were written in PERL in 95.  Really basic stuff.  I used a couple of other proprietary scripting languages.   I settled on PHP since I really liked mysql as a web database.  I have dabbled in ASP.net / MS SQL, ColdFusion (never liked it).  I have done a bit of Java early on.   Java was overkill for most of my projects.

I recently started using RoR for the MVC framework and provide some sense of discipline.   I sometimes subcontract out work.  With PHP, you never know what you are going to get.

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

My first web apps were created using Perl way back in the late 90's then moved onto java, then a bit of ASP followed by PHP (not fun, way to much work for little return) and finally RoR.  Never looked back, RoR is so fast when it comes to creating things from the ground up, have an idea and a day later your putting the finishing touches to the finished thing.

Away from the web I've done of BASIC, C, Fortran, Ada, COBOL, Perl (not just a web language), Delphi, pic microcontrollers (always fun), C++, C# and Java.  I also have a lot of fun creating shell scripts for my Linux distro.  I'm not a fan of Windows.

You would think that with a list like that I could get a job in the IT world.

Re: What was your pre-RoR background?

Wow some of you have been programming before I was even born.

Well, let's see I was intotroduced to C++ about six years ago, and being so young I found it difficult, and therefore never really stuck with it, now I wish I had, but I dabbled, made little chat bots, small viruses, script kiddy stuff.
I discovered simple XHTML/CSS a few months later, and designed simple web sites with a lot of table structure, ugh.
This lead me to PHP, and I worked with that for a year or two, and it was working out pretty well, but it was very reptitive, and I didn't like my organizational methods, inside/outside of the code, but I stuck with it.
Then when I got my first mac I was introduced to Obj-C, and occasionally work with that, my experience with that language ranges, but I'm in no way an expert.
Dabbled in 3D game scripting, "Dark, something or other", but that didn't last long, although I;m still interested.
I also worked on Flash Dev, and learned some AS 2.0 along the way, I still work with it, but the AS is very limited.
At this point I'm working with LAMP pretty fluently, but I was introduced to RoR as a new and more flexible/concisee/efficient framework for web dev, and I decided to check it out, and here I am.

Last edited by unsider (2008-06-17 00:25:31)

Convientional morality is a sign of slavery.