Sunday, February 24, 2013

End of Week 18 = Total hours 359!!!

Had a great time working on the pet rescue website with Jason Wieringa And David Bock today, learned a ton! The website is coming along well, we just added authorization so only if you are signed in can you add or change a dog's picture or infomation to the site.

I am going to be taking more initiative in making this site, and start working on features using branches in Github so I don't mess anything up when I make mistakes. Really looking forward to this next week, edX Berkeley continues with lecture videos and a quiz. I am going to try and make some head way on the pet rescue site as well.

The time has come to familiarize myself with Gimp, I'm going to download it tonight and try to go through a tutorial on how to use it this week. David Bock showed me a ton of great tips on how to use CSS and Sass with Rails, and also about making really good comments when I commit with Github.

All in all I feel like this was a really good week with lots of learning and new knowledge, it feels like things are starting to have a little bit of a snowball affect with my learning, like I understand new things in rails a little bit quicker because I can relate them to something else I have already learned.

19 hours of study this week, I have a pretty busy work week coming up but I will do better about getting at least 21 hours of studying in. - Josh

P.s. Jason Wieringa gave me my first Github "Octocat" sticker to put on my Mac, I feel almost like a real noob developer now :)

P.S.S. I'm going to try and post some pictures on my blog, since this has been a text only blog thus know spice things up a little :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rails getting Sassy!

Get your Rails on, yeah that's right I have made my first commits and contributions to a real world project with 2 other developers, so shut your mouth!....sorry I was feeling a little cocky.

I added a logo image to a web page and moved the footer to a partial, not nearly that impressive. Thankfully the developers I'm working with are really super nice and encouraging to the new young guy who is asking things like "git add .?" :) Anyway I got my assignments done so I feel good, but I want to know how I could have done it better, not just it's good enough to pass.

Pair programming with my brother Cody tomorrow morning, working on Cucumber, we need to know Cucumber much better for upcoming assignments of edX Berkeley 169.2x Saas course.

 Cody is going to make a sample profile site with his: name, email, and a picture, using Cucumber to test it all as he goes along. Tomorrow he's going to show me how he did it and let me pick holes at it and try to understand it better, then I'll make a site using Cucumber.

Sunday I'm working with David and Jason again up in Reston, should be a great time of learning totally excited. I'll let you know how tomorrow works out. The pet rescue website is coming along great! - Josh

Sunday, February 17, 2013

340 hours of total study time in 17 weeks!

That's right, I've studied 340 hours learning Ruby on Rails in the last 17 weeks! My total hours in week 17 were: 25.75. I Started working on a project today with David Bock of Code Sherpas and Jason Wieringa It's a project to basically help fix a local pet rescue's website.

Let me just say, although I know I've said it before. If you want to become a RoR developer than you absolutely MUST find some people to work/study with. I already knew that, and I study with my brother Cody and go to a Meetup every week if not more. However the learning that took place today absolutely took the lid off of the potential to learn things at a much higher rate.

If you study alone, you are learning at about 20mph. Studying/working with other people who know RoR = learning at 100mph! If you are serious about being a developer some day, then you need other people to learn with.

I can't believe how much was done on the website in just 1 day! I mainly observed and asked questions. I have 2 small changes to contribute before we meet again next Sunday. Berkeley SaaS 169.2x started on the 15th and I have yet to watch the lectures, so time to start cracking tomorrow.

Today, Jason and David taught me so much, I am so grateful. Throughout the day I probably asked 20 questions, normally I would have to stop what I was doing and Google for the answers to my questions but today I got instant awesome feedback that helped make things click in my mind. I beginning to understanding this beast we call RoR and how it really works. Study people! Times a wasting. - Josh

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Finishing the last week of Berkeley 169.1x SaaS Course

What a week! So busy with: Work, Studying, Reading, and Family time. I 'm finishing up the Homework today for the last week of 169.1x. Totally excited to start part 2 . I've learned alot more about Cucumber, feeling a little better about using it.

In other news, I'm going to be working on a side project with 2 other developers starting this Sunday, pretty excited about that, I'll let you know how it goes.

This week I heard a ton of new books that I so want to read, it  feels like there is so much to learn that I  need to prioritize what I study so that I learn at the maximum rate. I would love to spend the entire week just sitting on the couch reading new books on Ruby on Rails and just Coding in general.

Enough talk, now back to the grindstone, need to finish this homework, it's looking like about 4 hours to get it all done.-Josh

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cucumber & TDD

I've finished watching all the edX Berkeley SaaS course lecture videos, about 3 hours of content. Spent Monday working on a Cucumber tutorial that involved using Sinatra. I decided to do it, so I could learn more about Sinatra. Well I had several errors and a couple mistakes in the tutorial code, but I finished the Sinatra basics tutorial without to much yelling at my computer :)

I've been working on the Nettus Tutorial on Rspec and Cucumber and have gotten stuck on the '' file, it looks right but it's not working.

I feel like TDD is the way to go, I just don't really get it totally yet. Yes I understand write the test first, have it fail, then write the code to pass the test.  I'm currently lacking the "know how" at the moment :) Anyhow I figured I'd do the simple tutorial on Cucumber before attacking the harder homework assignments on BDD and TDD.

I'm going to try and finish the Cucumber tutorial, then on to the rest of the homework for the rest of the week. I've did finished the Quiz for this week.

 I studied 3.5 hours on Monday, 5 hours today, so it's a good week so far. Loving the learning journey- Josh

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Turning Point = 314 hours of RoR studying

The end of another productive week learning Ruby on Rails. Decided to post my week 16 hours and total study hours , since it's been a while.

WEEK 16 Feb.4th 2013    - Feb. 10th 2013 :)

Monday =                          3.5 hours
Tuesday=                               4hours
Wednesday=                       2.5hours
Thursday=                        3.75hours
Friday=                                  5hours
Saturday=                           2.5hours
Sunday=                                1hours

Week 16 =  22.25 hours       

*********TOTAL HOURS =  314.25 HOURS *******************

Without sounding stuck up, prideful, or cocky I would just like to say that this week,  was a big turning point for me over all. I feel like I'm starting to understand Rails a bit more. Sure I've done tutorials and followed along step by step, but this week I felt like I started to understand a little bit better what was going on, not alot better, but better.

I had a really positive week of study and learning,  things seemed to click and make sense. Of course after saying that this week will be a disaster :)  Finished week 4 of edX's Berkeley 169.1x  SaaS course, only 2 weeks left till we finish, then  SaaS 2 starts! Totally excited, can't wait!

Tonight I'm going to try and find a good tutorial on Cucumber to work through. Tomorrow (Monday) I going to watch all the lecture videos, then Tuesday - Sunday get cracking on the homework for  the week.

I may be doing a project with a couple other developers coming up soon, not 100% sure yet but it looks like fun and sounds promising so we'll see, I'll keep you up to date :) - Josh

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

MVC - Do they have personalities?

Model -View-Controller(MVC) is interestingly simple, but hard in other ways to understand. I've been going through tutorials on MVC.

MVC is so intertwined with one another almost like distant realitives, you don't really know them but at Thanksgiving  then you need to know every one's names and how they are related to each other, kind of like MVC. So I thought maybe if I gave MVC some personality that might help.

 First off it shouldn't be MVC,           it should be:               C    
                                                                                          M  V

because it's all about the controller first, not the other way around. I got stuck for a while thinking I should be working on the model first then the controller.


Controller:  Think of that really grouchy old guy Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life" and his favourite quote is: " It's my way or the highway!"

View:  The person who gets all the credit for everyone else's work...kind of like how CSS robs HTML of all it's glory.

Model:  The model is like a pair of underwear, we need it, but we are more than likely going to be changing it everyday(in this case every project).

Controller and View you should try to reuse as much as possible for other things,  Model is basically not reused. Each projects model is it's own.

I apologize for mutilating MVC like that, but that's how my mind works, if I can make it more human I can relate :) - Josh

Monday, February 4, 2013

Berkeley SaaS Week 4 lectures done :)

Done watching all of week 4 video lectures, doing the quiz now. Quiz 2 has 15 questions, I fell good with 10 of those, now to look up and feel confident of my answers. Big study day pair programming with my brother Cody tomorrow.

We're stopping the side project I was doing with Dan and Cody. Dan is excepting a baby soon, and I have my hands full with making sure I understand and do well on this edX class, so it's kind of a blessing :)

Go to and download the Gosu Gem, and do the tutorial. It helps you learn Ruby and is pretty fun, If you get stuck shoot me a line and I'll help you out. Cody and I have actually made a way to keep track of score on the game, he'll be putting the code up on Github in the next week, we'll probably keep tweaking the game a little more and more for the heck of it.

Last Friday David Bock of nice enough to meet me for coffee and give me some learning advice and also to point me to another local guy who is learning RoR as well, Jason Wieringa. Check out his blog: I found it helpful and encouraging toward this common goal of learning RoR, hopefully you will be inspired as well.

In the next coming weeks, hopefully Jason and I will get to study/learn together and be a local support team. I encourage everyone trying to learn RoR not to get discouraged and to find someone to study with and bounce ideas off of.  - Josh


Go Ravens!...and I love Cucumber!

Starting Week 4 of edX Berkeley's SaaS course. Talk about tough, I've no other time to look at anything else in RoR except to study and pass the Quizzes and Assignments, so hopefully that means I'm learning.

The Cucumber demo showing how to use it with (BDD) Behaviour Driven Development was really cool, I was also reminded of how little I know about (Regex) Regular Expressions. I'm thinking about finding a good list of the main Regex syntax and memorize it. If any one knows of a good basic list I could memorize that would be great.

21 hours for the week, so that's good. I did a short little RoR tutorial on how to make a Rails Todo list app, which was really cool. I feel like I'm almost starting to understand the whole MVC of Rails. I del a little better when getting a Routing error. 292 hours studied total for 15 weeks.

Had coffee with an awesome developer in Purcellville Va, Friday morning, really encouraged me to make a good long term decision regarding learning to Code. So grateful for all the positive, encouraging, and supportive people I have meet in the RoR community while on this learning journey.-Josh

Friday, February 1, 2013

Life as a noob coder is great!

Hey all! I hope everyone is achieving their programming goals so far this year and this week! Studied 6.50 hours today had a great time. I swear the more I learn the less I know :) It seems like their is a unlimited amount of new things to learn, which is good, I love it!

Went to South Arlington's Open Hacker Meetup, which is always a blast. Colin MacDonald showed us some cool tricks with shell scripting and cool things in general. I really appreciate all he does for me, helping to mentor me along the journey of becoming a junior developer. The man is chuck full of good examples and stories, I could sit and watch for days, just soaking it in.

Learning is going well. This edX Berkeley SaaS course is freaking hard, I feel like all I do is Google non-stop, if Google was a person, then I'd be a stalker :)

14 hours so far for the week, so excited to meet an awesome developer for coffee tomorrow morning before work, it's midnight, so goodnight world. I have to be up at 5:45a.m. and I'm not even home yet, gotta' love late night studying!