Topic: 15min of mentorship please

Dear RoR'ers,

I would like to call in a bit of help from the more experienced members.
The situation and question is very simple (as it always is ;)).
For the next 20 days I have nothing on my hands except learning RoR, how can I boost my skills in this short amount of time?
* which books should I read (can also be ones that are not directly related to RoR)
* Should I find a mentor? Where to look?
* Would it be wise to start by building a real-world project right-away? What kind?
* The most important question: what did I forget to ask?


In order for you to be able to give a decent answer I'll give you some more extra information on me, myself and I.

Where do I start?
* My programming background is in PHP (but let's not talk about that too much before I make you all sick :p)
* suffice to know that I think I know the fundamental building blocks of an application (MVC, OOP, REST, ...)
* I already read & marked the first half of Agile web development with Rails (4th edition -> so Rails 3)

Where do I want arrive?
* In the future I would like to build applications on which I:
** can be proud of
** Rely on enough to sell to SME's

Why do I want to invest my time?
* I'm already totally convinced of the framework idea.
* There are many frameworks, why why RoR?
** I just love the idea of convention over configuration
** I have the impression that people who invested there time in RoR have a passion for their work, they are opinionized and professional.
** Who doesn't want to join that 'crew'?


Kind regards,
Pj

Re: 15min of mentorship please

Hi,
you've already taken the steps that I would recommend when getting started with rails - AWDWR is really the best place to get going. Build the depot app coding along with the book.

Then when you are a little more comfortable with the language start building your own apps.

Work out a real world app that you want to write, design it (Pen and paper to work out the features, database design etc...), then start coing from the design.

There are many frameworks, why why RoR?

It's a personal thing - I'm an OO programmer, I come from a Delphi and Small Talk desktop development background and Ruby just clicked with me. It's the nicest language I have ever used. Without getting sentimental though you need to pick the best tool for the job and the best tool is most often what you are most familiar/comfortable with. You can achieve an aweful lot with Rails in a very short time frame but only when you really understand what you are working with and when you have a good plan well thought through and well designed.
Whether or not you believe it's the best tool for the job exposure to Rails has only got to be a good thing as it will help with broadening your horizons on other frameworks.

Rails is now a mature development environment and well recognised with a lot of support available all of which are important when learning something new. So it makes a good choice I think when branching out into something new.

What you want and what you need are too often not the same thing!
When your head is hurting from trying to solve a problem, stop standing on it. When you are the right way up you will see the problem differently and you just might find the solution.
(Quote by me 15th July 2009)

Re: 15min of mentorship please

Hey James,

thanks for tips you already gave me.
You mentioned the 'click' with ruby. Do you suggest that I also read the pickaxe book or not?

Any other advice is still welcome!

Greetings,
Pj

Re: 15min of mentorship please

Do you suggest that I also read the pickaxe book or not?

Well worth doing but not neccessarily straight away!

What you want and what you need are too often not the same thing!
When your head is hurting from trying to solve a problem, stop standing on it. When you are the right way up you will see the problem differently and you just might find the solution.
(Quote by me 15th July 2009)