Topic: Overwhelmed by choices and trying to learn

Maybe someone can help me smile  I'm trying to learn Rails - to be honest I've been trying for years now since I first heard about it around 2007.  The problem I keep running into is that there seems to be just *so many* things that professional Rails developers are doing that I'm overwhelmed by options when trying to figure out what I should be focusing on.

What I mean is... I have the basics down pat.  I can write very simple apps that can pull data out from MySQL or SQLite3 and display them on a page.  I can create/read/update/delete without using the scaffold (which I think is gone entirely in Rails3; the last version I used was like 2.3.2 I think).  I can write basic tests.  And this is where I don't run into problems because it seems like I can only do what Rails makes trivially easy, and everything else is an exercise in "How can I fit this into Rails" instead of "How can I code this?" which is what I'm used to.

Also, the Rails community seems to have a dozen or more different ways to do everything, and I want to start off by doing things "right".  This is the biggest problem for me because it seems to learn Rails "right" I also have to learn half a dozen extra things.  Git, RSpec, Cucumber, and even just plugins like Formtastic all seem to be better than the "default" things and are highly recommended but I feel very overwhelmed by learning a new language (i.e. Ruby), a new framework (i.e. Rails) as well as a bunch of other kinda new things.

I need some advice since like I said I've been trying to learn Rails for years now and I can't seem to get past the early hurdles.  Every time I pick something, I do some reading and there seems to be something "better" that all the Rails cognoscenti are pushing as the better way to do things, and I add that tool to my list so I end up trying to juggle learning more Ruby, learning more Rails, learning Git, RSpec and Cucumber, Formtastic, Heroku, Rack, the list goes on and on and on.

Last edited by mooglejedi (2010-11-30 10:59:04)

Re: Overwhelmed by choices and trying to learn

The best advice I can give you is that everyone starts as a beginner at some point.  You have to stop letting the excuses hold you back, if you really want to do it then do it.  Sure there are lots of ways to do something, and what's the downside to trying them all - learning? practice? awareness?