Sunday, December 30, 2012

BAD WEEK, but good....

I mentioned on my Twitter account that I wasn't going to study Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My wife wanted me to stop being a closet nerd and to be social and stuff when we went to relatives houses for the holidays. I agree with my wife all I do not stop is talk about programming and programming books.

I thoroughly enjoyed the holidays, One unexpected thing happened. My older brother from L.A. flew in on Christmas Eve and surprised us on Christmas Day. The man flew all the way across the U.S. to spend Christmas with us, the least I could do was have him over to watch movies and stay up till 4a.m talk and solve all of the world's problems in 5 easy steps:)

I am not making excuses, I am merely explaining my learning journey with you. I didn't get alot of studying in this week only: 9.75 hours (lowest ever). However I did make good progress in Zed Shaw's book: "Learn Ruby The Hard Way" I am now on Lesson 32 out of 55. My goal was to have the book completed by the time the Berkeley x course starts, so I should be able to do that no problem.

Hope everyone had a good holiday and that you've set some goals for the new year!

I'll blog in a year or so...get it:)-Josh

P.s. I apologize for the embarrassing corny joke, it's just that you can only say them once a year:)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Zed Shaw's: Learn Ruby The Hard Way: Lesson 21

11 days and counting till Berkeley x's Ruby on Rails course starts. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this upcoming opportunity to  learn the exact same course as those taught at Berkeley. I'm on lesson 21 of Zed Shaw's: Learn Ruby The Hard Way, There are 55 Lessons in the book and I want to complete them all by January 7th, when the Ruby on Rails course starts.

I'm hoping to also go finish Chris Pine's: Learn To Program Book, and go through it again. I want to have the main Ruby concepts fresh in my mind so as to give myself to the best shot of completing the Berkeley x course.

I will say that after studying for a little while now, there is a big difference between just reading through something and really understanding a new concept. I feel like it is more important to steadily grow your knowledge bank slowly, rather than say you completed 50 tutorials in the same time. I seem to better when I get to actually code out the example's and then play around with them a little , which is one thing I like about Zed Shaw's book, he really gets you to think about what you are doing and not just be a robot who types in code and then has no idea what it does.

I highly recommend any and all of Zed Shaw's books they have been a tremendous resource to me, I've completed his Learn The Command Line The Hard Way, which was very good.-Josh 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

edX: CS169.1x: Software as a Service

I am so excited. I've signed up for Berkeley x's CS169.1x course, class starts January 7th. I'm working on Zed Shaw's learn Ruby the Hard Way book, I'm on Lesson 15. I know this class is probably going to be way over my head by I don't care I want to take it so bad, and I figure it requires 12 hours per week, I can give at least 21 hours per week, my brother Cody is taking it as well so that will help I am sure.

I really want a more structured learning format that has intensive learning, time will tell. I had a great Christmas with my wife and little boys (Ben & Ian) they had a blast. Ben is 3 and Ian is 1. Hope everyone had a great holiday.

Now back to studying people no more dilly dallying time to get some serious studying down:)-Josh

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mobile App Part: 4

I'm beginning to get a slight understanding of how this whole MVC thing works. I just fell asleep while working on my app it's 12:37a.m. relatives are staying with us for Christmas so it's been hard to study, I failed on my hours this week only 16. Next week should be better, gotta' get them up, the Holidays are just tough with people over trying not to be rude. Anyway been playing around with trying to make a Rss Reader app. Totally destroyed what little I had working, but hey I feel a little better navigating through an app now. I love coding and I can't wait for tomorrow, I'm hoping to sneak out and study before I go to my Aunt's tomorrow. Work hard people time's a wasting:)

I'm beginning to really love this whole MVC Framework, it seems like down the road it will seem simpler and easier to understand other apps you see. I'm working on how to get a link to actually be clickable on the mobile app, and go somewhere when you click on it.-Josh

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mobile App Making: Part 3

I've got everything working well on Rhodes, the only exception being if I change an app in RhoStudio, then go look at it from the command line running 'rake run:android' they won't match. I'm guessing it has something to do with proper syncing but other than that everything is going fairly well. I found a pretty cool Rhodes tutorial on how to make a simple Rss Feed reader . I started it, then downloaded his code to see if I could mimic his code for a different Rss Feed. Great idea but so far no luck, but I'm encouraged just to be fiddling around in the mobile arena:)

I'm thinking of making my own website soon for Cody and I to put our information on and maybe some stuff we build, maybe like a free downloads page. I've also come to the conclusion that everything is always hardest at the start. Whether it's installing software, getting in shape, or running a business. It seems that if you can just push through no matter how hard or steep the learning curve may be, then if you hang on you'll achieve impressive things. That's how it's been with getting everything to just work on the Rhomobile Framework, now that everything functions fairly well it should be nice to just jump in and make something.

I on lesson 15 on Zed Shaw's "Learn Ruby The Hard Way" book. I highly recommend it to anyone learning Ruby. I'm going to try to get some Rss Reader App working in the next coming week. - Josh

Friday, December 21, 2012

Programming Mentors

I can not say it enough: If you are serious about becoming a RoR developer than you absolutely must go onto and join several RoR groups and Open Hacker nights. I became stuck again on my mobile app when switching over to jquery mobile, and thankfully after attending the "South Arlington Hacker Space Night" I was unstuck.

I swear I saved 2 weeks of time thanks to Colin MacDonald, getting me unstuck. Just by being at the meetup, it feels like I absorb knowledge and coding lingo. I spent 2 days googling error messages, without being able to fix the problem, so it's not a matter of just being lazy, but it saves alot of wasted unproductive time.

I strongly recommend having a mentor or at least someone you can ask for help when absolutely stuck. Going solo is not the way to go. One of the reasons I go to meetups is just to learn new concepts and ideas, the other is to get help if I'm stuck on an issue. It's also really cool to talk to other people and hear stuff they are working on.-Stay Curious-Josh

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mobile App: Part 2, jquery mobile

I'm switching to jquery mobile to use with the Rhomobile platform and 'Rhodes'. I'm making the switch after tweeting Abhishek Nalwaya for help on an issue. Abhishek Nalwaya  wrote "Rhomobile Beginner's Guide" said that it would be  the best way to go, so right now I'm working out exactly how to use jquery mobile with 'Rhodes'. I'll keep you posted:) Didn't code much last night was extremely tired tonight is comeback night:)-Josh

Monday, December 17, 2012

End of week 7 Ruby on Rails 6 month learning journey

I put up 20.5 hours for the week, .5 hr short of my weekly goal. Good news is I accomplished a lot this last week, I installed the Rhomobile platform, made my first mobile app, and got through almost 4 chapters of: "Rhomobile Beginner's Guide". All in all I felt productive this week.

I realized last night that I will be book hopping more and more from this point on, I am now at the point where I really do need to know more of the Ruby language to be able to get through errors, and to get programs to work.

This week I basically have 1 goal: Work on my mobile app, however that now may invoke flipping through the Michael Hartl Rails Tutorial, the Learning to Program (basic Ruby) book, as the need arises.

I find that I get bored with just straight tutorials, I need to make real life projects and have a issue to work through that is real to me, and then hunt down the answer. Right wrong or indifferent, that seems like how my mind wants to learn, at least for now.

                                                    END OF WEEK 7 TOTALS:

WK 8 DEC 10th- Dec.16th 

Monday =    4 hours
Tuesday=     3hours
Wednesday=     2.5hours
Thursday=     4hours
Friday=     0hours
Saturday=     3hours
Sunday=             4hours

Week 8 total Dec. 10th-16th  = 20.5 hours


Feeling good about this whole RoR coding thing:) My brother Cody is now done all his college finals, he's taking the next semester off to do this learning journey with me. With Cody's time freed up more now, he has to do a minimum of 21 hours per week as well, so hopefully that should help both of us grow quicker.

ONE FINAL NOTE: We are going to be entering the Hackathon:

Hack TCNJ 2013 
March 16th-17th, 2013 in Ewing, NJ

Whether we win, lose or get last. I don't care, we are entering and going to go do this. So as prep work for the hackathon. Cody and I are pair programming together every Sunday and starting in January he will be coming with me every Thursday to the " Open Space Hack Night", My goal is t have us working as a really good team, so we won't waste a lot of time at the Hackathon in N.J. Wish us luck, we'll need it :) - Josh Kemp

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Made my first mobile app!!!

I apologize for missing the past few days, I've been really busy and had a super long day shoeing over 10 horses, but I'm back on track should make my minimum goal of 21 hours of study  this week no problem. Let me start off by saying I'm going to cut back on posting everyday to every other day. Haven't lost any coding passion, just to free my studying up a little. I'll just mention both days in one post.

I absolutely LOVE going to 'Open Space Hacker Night' in South Arlington every Thursday evening at 7pm! The amount of information I get to absorb just by being around so many really cool and really smart people is amazing, I leave each time thinking: "Holy Crap this is cool...I need to learn more and more!)" I really love surrounding myself with people who are at a much higher level than me, it creates an awesome learning environment.

My app is coming along great, I've been using: "Rhomobile Beginner's Guide" and have made the sample app described in the book. One thing I would warn though is, Rhomobile is an awesome platform, you can code an app 1 time and then have it be able to work natively with: IOS, OS, Android,Windows, and BlackBerry. Amazing, but there is one caveat. Setting up and installing the Rhomobile platform is a nightmare that should not be attempted by any beginner, once it's set up it's  a breeze to use, but you can easily spend 3-4 days working on installing, goggling errors and making no progress as I did.

Thankfully Matt at the Thursday night hacking group helped me with all the errors, and he said it was not something for a beginner to do on their own. Matt is a professional Systems Admin. So he knows what he's talking about. I highly recommend finding someone to help you with the multiple errors if you are going to try and use the Rhomobile Platform.

Now that it's working, I'm having a blast with this app. I feel like a kid in a candy store, every click is like a bite of candy getting happier and happier:) Rhomobile's Framework "Rhodes" is alot like Rails, it also uses the MVC so it makes me feel more comfortable using it.

I'm gonna' play around with this app and hopefully finish this book, then sometime in January make an app, for an Acupuncturist I know in D.C. Maybe make it, then go up to his practice to get worked on and be like: "Oh by the way..."- Later Josh Kemp:)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Making an App with Rhodes

I know I said I was going to wait to January 1st 2013 to make something, but I can't wait! I am starting the process of making my very own app for 5 platforms. The process for making the app starts with installing: Rhodes, RhoStudio, RhoSync, Java SDK, Android SDK, plus others. Well everything is going fine and dandy till I get an error when trying to run my app using 'rake run:android' then I get "waiting , error , I've tried to fix the error unsuccessfully the past 2 days. I'm gonna' see if someone at the Open Space Hacker group in South Arlington can help me fix the error.

Installation of stuff is usually the hardest. Good news is: The RhoStudion Simulator works perfect with my app, so that's pretty awesome. I'll keep you up to date with how the app building goes.

By the way: End of last week I studied a total of 23.75 hours, so a good week:) Yesterday I studied 4 hours.

Here's the error I keep getting when I run: 'rake run:android' just in case someone has any ideas:)

THIS TOOL IS DEPRECATED. See --help for more information.

Align Debug APK file
rm -rf /Users/joshuakemp/my_app/bin/target/android/my_app-tmp.apk
- waiting for device -
rake aborted!
Unable to create AVD image. No appropriate target API for SDK version: 2.1
/usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p125/gems/rhodes- `run_emulator'
/usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p125/gems/rhodes- `block (3 levels) in <top (required)>'
/usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p125/bin/ruby_noexec_wrapper:14:in `eval'
/usr/local/rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.3-p125/bin/ruby_noexec_wrapper:14:in `<main>'


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Code Retreat!

Yesterday was awesome at Code retreat, I learned a ton and I really see the value of practicing pair programming with others. I was incredibly out of my comfort zone, and was such a noob, compared to who I was working with. One note if you decide to go to Code Retreat next year: Know a language or at least brush up on your language the day before.

As you all know I've been learning to be a RoR developer but, mainly focusing on the framework Rails at first, and not so much on Ruby as of yet. Now I do like the strategy I've been using but, when it comes to Code Retreat, you're not using frameworks, you're using languages so I ended up not keeping up as well as I had wanted to.

All in all though I increased my knowledge, learned about testing, ping pong testing, and was exposed to several other languages such as C and Java. I'm currently taking Udacity's CS 101 course at the moment, but, I am really getting the itch to build something, I'm thinking of an App possibly for Andriod. Not 100% sure yet, but by January 1st. 2013 I promise to start working on making something, wether it be a blog , website or an app.-Tomorrow-Josh

Friday, December 7, 2012

Delete is my new favorite word:)

My dear fellows, I suck:) I really don't know anything about programming or actually much about anything :) I however love it. I love where I am at, I love the pure joy of grasping a new concept:)

 I have been bitten by the programming bug and it is no respecter of your color, creed, standing in life,  skill level,or for that matter your abilities. When the coding bug bites, it bites hard and deep, and you are hopelessly scarred for life. I am my friends bitten, scarred for life, but with little ability (at least at this point) to actually program.

So I have decided:

I will continue and finish the Michael Hartl Rails Tutorial, however after this I will actually be taking a step back. As I have slowed WAY down on the speed of which I go through the tutorial and really try to grasp things, I've realized I really need to get a better handle of some basic concepts. Then plunge back into Rails, I have not forsaken you oh Rails. I have tried to learn your ways and have come away naked and ashamed. Thou art a worthy opponent, that has beaten me with your active records, Ruby, and Validators.


My tail may be tucked between my legs for now, but I shall rise with a vengeance after I have regrouped and licked my wounds. Your day of defeat is surely coming, when I shall beat you and trod you under foot you insolent dog you.

 After trying to understand Rails more and more I've realized I need to get a better Computer Science Foundation and not rush things. If I'm not a developer in 6 months then so be it, but I want to one day be a really good developer and not a hacked together piece of crap.

 I'm thinking of taking one of courses probably CS 101. I've always wanted to but always thought "But this isn't RoR" but, in fact it is, if I don't comprehend the basics how can I grasp more and more abstract concepts. I was going to start making a complicated blog as my next learning assignment, but for now I think I'll take a step back to the basics.-Tomorrow-Josh

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Halfway through Chapter: 7 Michael Hartl Tutorial

Great time studying. 4.5 hours today 5.75 hours yesterday, it's been a great week for studying:) I listened to 1 hour or so of Podcasts last week on Ruby, I don't know if those should really count for studying or not, because it's not hands on. I think what I'll do is just mention if and how much time I spent that week listening to Podcasts but, not count it as regular study time.

I have one testing syntax error I can't get rid of no matter how much time or effort I put into, I'm gonna' ask someone to take a look at it tomorrow at the Thursday night Space Hacker group in South Arlington, so hopefully I should have that fixed.

It's 12:52a.m. and my vision is blurry time to hit the hay:)- Tomorrow-Josh

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Untreatable Code Addiction

I am so excited, I finally got the very basics of this whole Rspec testing. I've spent the last 2 hours on Chapter 3 of Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial, just playing with the testing adding code, changing code then running it. It's quite addictive sometimes I'm like "Holy crap!...that's not supposed to do that" then 5 minutes later "Oh yeah it does" :)

You hear people talking about Adrenaline Junkies that are addicted to exercise for the buzz they get, or runners that get the "runners high", well I've just realized programs are code addicts, there is a certain feeling when you finally figure something out (regardless of how small or insignificant it is) that is absolutely addicting.

Now when I meet a super smart nerd who never showers or brushes his teeth I know why....he's a recovering coding addict as to which there is no cure. The problem is: The worst addicts who need the most help, get paid the most and are the most in demand, so there is little chance of recovery.

I'm afraid I am in the early stages of code addiction, no use fighting it so head down and fingers clicking away, if I fix one more error or line of code, maybe just maybe the feeling it will go away:)   -Tomorrow-Josh

P.S. Here's some of the tests I was running today:)

Joshuas-MacBook-Pro:test_app joshuakemp$ bundle exec rspec spec/requests/test_apps_spec.rb


  1) Test App Help page should have the h1 'Help'
     Failure/Error: visit '/static_pages/help'
       No route matches [GET] "/static_pages/help"
     # ./spec/requests/test_apps_spec.rb:22:in `block (3 levels) in <top (required)>'

  2) Test App Help page should have the title 'Help'
     Failure/Error: visit '/static_pages/help'
       No route matches [GET] "/static_pages/help"
     # ./spec/requests/test_apps_spec.rb:27:in `block (3 levels) in <top (required)>'

Finished in 0.22048 seconds
6 examples, 2 failures

Failed examples:

rspec ./spec/requests/test_apps_spec.rb:21 # Test App Help page should have the h1 'Help'
rspec ./spec/requests/test_apps_spec.rb:26 # Test App Help page should have the title 'Help'

Randomized with seed 49936

Joshuas-MacBook-Pro:test_app joshuakemp$

Monday, December 3, 2012

Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial- START OVER:(

After sleeping last night, and Acupuncture this afternoon, I feel much better about messing up all my progress on the Michael Hartl Rails Tutorial:) I have decided to start over from the beginning of the tutorial, which I am now happy about, I'll explain my thoughts below:

Yesterday's: DARK THOUGHTS:

* " I suck, I can't believe I messed this up."
* " I've been doing this tutorial forever, I'm never gonna' finish, I should just copy and paste."
* " I'm never gonna' get everything down."
* " This looks bad, anyone reading must think I'm sooo slow."

Today's: THOUGHTS:

* " It doesn't matter if it takes me a long time to finish the tutorial, it's not about copying and pasting really fast to finish. It's about Comprehension and grasping the concepts well, which takes time.

* " Is it better to blaze through lots of tutorials and "look busy" or to really "get it" and keep studying and not worry about how many tutorials I've done."

* " I LOVE PROGRAMMING...I don't care if it takes me the rest of my life to learn RoR, I enjoy the language and learning, so at some point I should hopefully be good enough to be employed as a Junior RoR Developer, so until then. Study, Study, Study.

If anyone else is studying RoR, and needs help or a studying partner, e-mail or twitter me, I'd love to help. If anyone has any suggestions or advice, on anything regarding learning RoR, I'd love it if you left it in the comments. Thanks for Reading my Ramblings:) -Tomorrow -Josh

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Github is like a creeper:(...and the GOSU GAME IS DONE!!!

Github is like a creepy old man, just waiting for an opportunity to mess with you. Github, Github, Github where do I begin? So I was 1 page away from being finished Chapter 6 of Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial but I had an error while testing. I pair programmed with my brother Cody today for around 3.5 hours. We finished the game finally after much trouble shooting, so happy to have stuck with it and finished, we learned alot more about finding errors.

My brother Cody finds my error, and I'm like sweet I'm good to go, but then the 'TDD' comes back with 30 examples 15 errors. So I know it's wrong somewhere. After much looking and trying to fix code, I decide to go onto Github and clone Michael Hartl's Tutorial source code, I figure I can look through maybe even try running it on a local server just to see how it works.

Well a very long story short, I've screwed up my original app I was working on, because I forgot they were both named 'sample_app' and the fact that if you are already working in 1 app on Sublime Text 2 , it will automatically open the new app in that window, so I ended up messing all sorts of crap up and not realizing what I had done till I was getting weirder and weirder errors. I started thinking "This DARN! thing is POSSESSED!!!" Then I was like "Oh crap". Now I'm kinda' discouraged but I think I'll just start over and copy and paste my way back to Chapter 6, then go through it again VERY carefully and methodically.


wk 6th-Nov. 26th-Dec. 2nd


6TH WEEK TOTAL  NOV. 26TH- DEC.2ND= 21         HRS.

***TOTAL 6TH WEEKS HOURS= 115.5*********

Oh, I decided to take a break while working on errors, and did a little tutorial on Sinatra, kinda' cool not really sure of the benefits or how I'd use it but still cool to know a little more:)

HEY make no mistake, I LOVE CODING, I'm just a little disappointed for having messed all my work up, but hey I'm that little bit smarter about cloning a Repo. and not getting them mixed up:)-Tomorrow-Josh

South Arlington Space Hacker

Went to the South Arlington Space Hacker. I was totally impressed I don't think I've ever been in a room full of that smart of people before, learned so much and had so much fun. Sorry for missing a day posting. I'm at 16 hours of studying for the week so far, had one day I was super sick and the other I was lazy and watched '24' with my wife.

However I am planning a long pair programming session with my brother Cody tomorrow so I expect to meet the 21 hour minimum. Despite a few setbacks, this has been a very productive week, I've gotten stuck and unstuck more times than I'd like to admit, but with each Google search my knowledge bank is getting just that tiny amount better, so I am happy.

I debated on saying anything, for fear of being critical but I feel it is my duty to speak the truth to help out other aspiring RoR developers:

I am very disappointed with Mattan Griffel''s Skillshare class "One Month Rails". I finished the entire 3 week course in 2 days, with hardly any sweat. The only sweat I did have was from a Gemfile error of his. In the "Learn to Code: One Month Rails" Promo on Skillshare's website, Mattan promises to:

  • How I learned to code using Ruby on Rails in less than one month with NO experience (and went on to win a 300-person hackathon by myself!) and how you can too
  • The secret resources that developers don't tell other people about that can cut down the time to build your product by over 50%
  • How you can be in demand, get job offers from almost every company you talk to, work from home and finally have the life you've always dreamed of. 

This class falls grossly short, and that's not just my opinion I met up with a couple fellow students and they both felt that the class was WAY over hyped and did not deliver. 
Now I don't have any problem with making good money teaching a class,($30,000 in this case) but, what bothers me is this class is basically chapters 1 & 2 of Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial.

 I tweeted Mattan to ask if he was going to have anymore on Freelancing or how to cut your time to build your product by 50%, and his exact words were "Come again?". I waited a couple days to wait and see if he'd say anything more, but clearly that's not the case.

So here's my warning to anyone who is thinking about taking this class in the future: If you'd like someone to help you through the first Chapter or so of Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial, than by all means sign up, otherwise order Michael Hartl's Rails Screen Casts.

Anyway had to get that off my chest. I am in love with coding and making GREAT progress, I have 1 error to get through tomorrow(since it's 1a.m. now) and then I will be on Chapter 7 of Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial:)-Tomorrow-Josh