Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Projects in Ruby

Hello!  Thought I had forgotten about ya?  Not even!  I'm really excited to say I've finished my Prep Work for AppAcademy!  While I took a short break from the RubyMonk: Ascent book, I've started that back up today and will now be working through the additional Ruby projects on the JumpstartLabs website as well!

Finishing the Prep Work, has really boost my confidence.  It can get pretty grim when I'm working on a problem and nothing seems to be going right.  Often times, the dragon voice of doubt whispers in, "Did you really think you understood this stuff??"  My trusty armor of confidence and my sword of achievements fights of the fiend and my attitude is back up in the clouds where it should be!

Next up: MicroBlogger - A second introductory Ruby tutorial building a rudimentary Twitter client
Brought to you by JumpstartLabs!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Like Pig Latin and Street Lights

Well everyone I finally finished some Test Driven Development exercises tonight.  I did 14 in total.  They were not in any particular "challenge level" order but that may be depended on what areas I (vs you) consider challenging.  The challenges I was using are publicly available on GitHub from user alexch.

There was one exercise, in particular, that really had me stumped.  I knew how I wanted to do it but for some reason just couldn't get there!  Tonight, with my hubby sleeping in the next room, I really went at it.  I think for the first time I felt comfortable using RSpec.  I used it as my primary testing area (instead of using Codecademy's console) and read each error message with a sort of new understanding.  RSpec was very, very helpful in helping me finish the challenge.

It might have been one of the easier ones for someone else, but for me, this one was the final climb.  I'm really excited to be done with them.  I will turn all of my focus to the RubyMonk: Ascent book I've been gushing about the past few days.

Off to sleep for me!

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Get it Set right

I must admit I am so much more a fan of the RubyMonk: Ascent book.  Its like they new exactly what I was struggling with before and added a little extra explanation for me.  I'm working on the last of my App Academy PrepWork problems today and it has been a huge help!

Another helpful tool, for me anyway, has been my "Lab Notebook".  Having been an academic prior, I am very much used to taking notes and recording my thought flow in pen and paper.  This has been an extra reference for me and a great resource in understanding which areas I may need to revisit.  If my notes are kinda vague I either a) have great command of the topic, or b) was not really focused during that bit of learning.  If I have a question on some Ruby topic, I always check my Lab Notebook first!  If I can refresh myself from there, great! that helps cement those thoughts into my brain. If not, its a great indicator I need to go back to the basics on that topic and really spend some time hashing it out.

For instance:  Getters and Setters.  These have been pretty abstract concepts for me until recently.  During one of my problems, I tried to reference my Lab Notebook and didn't find much help.  Thankfully, the RubyMonk: Ascent has a few extra lessons to help me out!  Now my Lab Notebook has extra pages on the topic! :)

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Will you walk with me, Grasshopper?

While I'm working on finishing up my Prep Work for the App Academy, I've started on the RubyMonk Primer: Ascent (the first Intermediate level).  I've found it very helpful as it re-iterates the last lesson in RubyMonk (I had previously commented it went too fast).  Its nice to go a bit deeper into the material.  One lesson in particular I have really appreciated is "Yield."  There is a great set of exercises and a useful summary of concepts.  I will definitely be more confident in my understanding of yield because of this lesson!!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Birthday Codes

Hello!  While I'm finishing up Ruby in 100 Minutes, I thought I'd take a second to say 'Thank you!' to the devs at Google who have rigged my google page to wish me a Happy Birthday!  Thank you so much for little moments like these that make my day!  Cheers, to some of the finest devs in the world!!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Up and Running!!

As of today, I am up and running with all the tools available to me for using Ruby!!  I have my IRB working, SublimeText 3, GitHub, and GitHub for Windows all working together and running smoothly.  It did take a bit, as I had to revert to Ruby 1.9.3 due to a bug with Windows and Ruby. Its all working now though and I'm full speed ahead with my latest bit of homework Ruby in 100 Minutes.

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

End of Monk

Happy Saturday!! Well... sorta, I have to work most of today, but I'm getting a little coding in this morning.  This week I finished the RubyMonk lessons and problems.  A few reflections: i) RubyMonk is an excellent resource and was a great follow up to Codecademy.  ii) From my experience, RubyMonk taught me a lot more than Codecademy, but perhaps I would have felt that way done the reverse as well iii) The last two lessons in RubyMonk seem kind of rushed.  It's possible they were just topics I was not familiar with, but the I/O streams and File class lessons contained a ton of info and went too fast for my liking.  I will be review these topics on my own.

There is one real criticism I have though.  First, a note about myself - I'm an achievement whore.  This should put the following complaint in the proper light.  RubyMonk is stuck at 99% completion for me.  Its saying I haven't finished the reading on Lambdas.  I've gone over that lesson, the one before it, and the one after it like 10 times.  Why???  Someone from RubyMonk please fix that. It's like a twitch for me. :P

Next up "Ruby in 100 Minutes"...

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