Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Struggle of Struggles - A Confession of A Noob

Coding Dojo - our bootcamp has an annoying motto : struggle to learn. It is hard to agree to, because in turn, we suffer through struggling. But it is hard not to concur, because we learn so much in that struggle.

Half a year ago, Ruby on Rails seems to be magical. rails g, rake db:migrate, git push, git push heroku... voila your app is ready! And it is awesome, it looks like Twitter without the tags, and everything works! Feel free to view post edit delete... wow congrats you just said the fanciest Hello World with a full blown web app. Who cares about Michael Hartl's tutorial? This thing just works. I am now a RoR developer, except... NOT.

The moment to customize and build on top of the app began... all of a sudden, motion freezes: the magic turns into suffering. What happened? What do I do? What the heck is MVC, rspec, css.css, html.erb, rake here rake there... okay, i hate ruby and as well as Rails now, because they are so zen that my head hurts.

Our "sensei" made us suffer HTML CSS jQuery Ajax PHP all the fundamentals, Object Oriented Programming OOP, CodeIgniter, Object Relational Mapping ORM... basically lots lots of tedious suffering later: finally Ruby... okay finally one week later Rails. After building three full blown Heroku deployed Rails app and unfinished console game, and lots of Rails talk later. I am really really starting to understand Rails on a deep level. It's hard to describe but you just know.

I am still going slowly, very slowly, and I want to see all the knots and bolts of Rails, why was it designed that way, why Ruby, why does everyone like Ruby... and that's when I realized how deep Rails can really go. And there I was beaming while writing StaticPages controller. Yes, WTF? So many apps later, I am beaming on some freaking StaticPages controller? oh yes, love it, love that I understand the rspec, the console command lines, the history of vi and vim... and yes I wrote some instance variables too to be passed to views... but gosh it feels so good to really understand how instructional it is to generate a static page backwards using Rspec Green Red Refactor method and know that I can just add my variables any time.

Finally, I am *starting* to understand Rails - a confession of a beginner.

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