Thursday, April 18, 2013

Learning Ruby on Rails @ 520.5 hours: 1% better

Recently I've come to the realization, that pair programming is good, but I need to struggle on my own for a while. What I mean by that is when I work with other programmers I learn an incredible amount of information and new things at a really fast rate, however for me at 520.5 hours of learning/study Ruby on Rails I personally need to struggle.

I need to find the answer to the error message.

I need to train my mind to realize common errors, which are really caused by simple typos.

I need to go through Stack Overflow and learn the fine art of skimming a lot of information quickly to see if the error message I have matches the one on Stack Overflow.

 Good programmers may poo-poo this point, but I swear in my experience of having really good coders helping me fix errors, everyone of them were like wizards scanning through the error messages and then rapidly scanning through Stack Overflow. I think maybe it's subconscious at this point. I don't know but I've noticed really good programmers do it, so I am going to learn to do it.

I need to say goodbye to tutorials and hello to fixing real world problems, helping people who need websites, even if the websites I make suck compared to what someone else could have made. Going through the process of making something and getting it up to Heroku, and give myself a specific amount of time, and just do it, no excuses.

For the first time ever today, I got my first "coding headache". I seriously could not figure out why the 'carrierwave' gem was not showing my images, I had re-watched 'Railscasts' several times, I had made 4 sample apps and I still couldn't figure it out and I literally was like "WHY ISN'T THIS WORKING! YOU SHOULD BE WORKING!!!".....

...After my little mental fit subsided I realized getting angry at computer code solves nothing, so I decided to work on it later once I wasn't so freaked out to get it done. That's one of the down sides of having aggressive goals (sometimes it puts too much pressure on me) but I feel like in the real world there are going to be deadlines where you can't say, "I need more time".

I am SO psyched right now about coding, I am totally excited to get home after work and open my Macbook Pro even if it's at 10p.m.

I have an idea that I am absolutely burning to work on, but I really don't know if it can be done. I am certainly not skilled enough yet to do it on my own,  so everyday I tell myself I need to get 1% better at this whole Ruby on Rails thing so I can get 1% better tomorrow. Maybe that's dumb, but that's what motivates me and excites me to want to learn and absorb more knowledge.

Everything is building to a crescendo when one day I am a Rails developer who actually knows what the heck he's talking about. I also want to make this idea and it won't happen till I am about 1000% better.

Enough of the chit-chat, time for some click-clacking on the computer. Stop making excuses and start make something. Anything - Josh