Thursday, March 31, 2011

Generating code and staying motivated

I've discovered the less I think about what I'm doing with Ruby and Rails the more I learn and the more fun I have. I don't mean I'm not thinking about the code I'm writing, but rather if I stop and allow myself to feel overwhelmed and frustrated by what I don't know how to do yet, I get discouraged and coding seems like a chore.

I went back to Beginning Ruby tonight and did some work with gems that generate html and search through html for specific tags and/or information. Markaby, Redcloth and Hpricot, take a bow!

Right now I'm seeing actual Ruby work as being kind of secondary, though. I've decided I need a project to work on, so this weekend I'm going to begin work on a site that allows users to store characters for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. It's a known fact I'm a huge DnD nerd and I've used similar sites in the past, so I think this is a good project for me. I know a lot about the mechanics of DnD and what I expect from a site that stores characters, and I've learned enough Rails that I think I can figure out how to get things started.

This big picture stuff was a huge mystery to me even a month ago, and I really need to keep that in mind. I still don't know exactly how to do it, but I have a good idea and I know where to find information, so I'm on the right track.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Trying to avoid spinning my wheels

So here's where I'm at right now: I finished up the basic blog application I was working on last week and now I'm looking for something new to sink my teeth into. I started chapter 14 in Beginning Ruby, which is about how Ruby interacts with the internet, but so far it not exactly what I'm looking for. I felt like I learned a lot of practical information really quickly when I was working on the blog application, so I've been trying to find some more hands-on tutorials.

Here's the problem: there are a fucking TON of hands-on Ruby and Rails tutorials online. I'll likely continue with the tutorials on, but the next guide is about database migrations and seemed a bit less practical to me. Still, maybe I just need to power on through and do it, considering how much I learned from the last tutorial. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears!

On the plus side, actually writing code and understanding what the code will do is coming mure more easily now.