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git init...And Get In It! (How I taught myself Rails and got a programming job in under a year)

git init...And Get In It! (How I taught myself Rails and got a programming job in under a year)

At RailsGirls Berlin (April 14, 2012), I gave a talk about how I learned programming (specifically Ruby on Rails) and got a programming job in under a year. It covers my story, the tools I used, and tips on using those tools.


Joan Wolkerstorfer

April 14, 2012

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  1. git init...And Get In It! How I taught myself Rails

    and got a programming job in under a year Saturday, April 14, 12
  2. About Me • Joan Wolkerstorfer • Developer at mediapeers •

    joanwolk on twitter, github, & stackoverflow • gitinit.wordpress.com Saturday, April 14, 12
  3. Overview • My programming story • How I made it

    happen • Resources and how to use them Saturday, April 14, 12
  4. My first job was to redesign this site. Saturday, April

    14, 12
  5. Saturday, April 14, 12

  6. At Upstream, I wrote the coapps application, Expiring Day Passes,

    and Quickcharge Saturday, April 14, 12
  7. Software Developer at mediapeers Saturday, April 14, 12

  8. I started coding when?! Saturday, April 14, 12

  9. • January 2011: Started looking at Ruby and Rails teaching

    sites • February 2011: Started working through railstutorial.org • May 28-29, 2011: Attended EuRuKo • July 2011: Finished railstutorial and started internship with Upstream (cobot) • September 2011: Finished internship • November 2011: Started work at mediapeers Saturday, April 14, 12
  10. • Written for true beginners • Introduces and uses git,

    GitHub and heroku • Detailed explanations of all elements • Useful even for experienced coders • Full book for free • Videos and PDFs can be bought to support it Saturday, April 14, 12
  11. What is git? Saturday, April 14, 12

  12. What is version control? • Version control: keeps track of

    what the project looked like for its whole history • Distributed version control: many people can work on the same project at the same time without problems • Use it now to: • Share on GitHub and post on heroku • Build good habits from the start Saturday, April 14, 12
  13. What is git? • Commit: Take a snapshot of your

    code • Repository: All your snapshots neatly arranged in one album • Most common version control in the Ruby community: lots of help is out there! • More information: • git-scm.com (official git site) • progit.org (a full book online, plus a blog) Saturday, April 14, 12
  14. What is GitHub? • Store your git repository for free

    online • Explore other people’s code • Watch: get a feed of updates to the repository • Fork: copy the repository so you can play with it • Collaborate on code • Pull request: ask the owner to add your changes • Review code • Find help with someone’s code • Issues: Find or submit tickets about a problem • Wiki: Some repositories have a wiki Saturday, April 14, 12
  15. What is heroku? • Hosting for Ruby/Rails sites using git:

    put your code out there for the world! • Free for small projects • Easy to scale up as projects grow Saturday, April 14, 12
  16. But how can I find help when I’m working alone?

    Saturday, April 14, 12
  17. • stackoverflow.com • Rails documentation • guides.rubyonrails.org • github repository

    • heroku devcenter Saturday, April 14, 12
  18. • Search it with Google, not the search field on

    the site, e.g. • site:stackoverflow.com rails passwords Stack Overflow Tips • As with any search, try adjusting your search terms if you don’t find what you want right away • If you can’t find it, ask it! Saturday, April 14, 12
  19. Rails Documentation • api.rubyonrails.org • apidock.com/rails • railsapi.com • My

    personal favorite • Defaults to most current versions • Easy to choose specific older versions • Shows Ruby and Rails results together Saturday, April 14, 12
  20. Rails Guides Tips • There are more guides on the

    main page than are listed in the index! • “In Progress” guides are still great help Saturday, April 14, 12
  21. GitHub Tips • Read the readme • Read the wiki,

    if there is one • Search the issues to see if someone else had the same problem • Submit your own issue if you still have a problem Saturday, April 14, 12
  22. Heroku Tips • devcenter.heroku.com to browse help topics • Use

    Google to search the docs, e.g., • site:devcenter.heroku.com logs Saturday, April 14, 12
  23. Other useful tools Saturday, April 14, 12

  24. • editors – vim, emacs, TextMate, Sublime, etc. • rubular.com

    – Regular expressions editor • Markdown – used to format comments on GitHub, and in various other places • http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax • pow.cx – Local server tool (Mac only) Development Tools Saturday, April 14, 12
  25. • Twitter Bootstrap (twitter.github.com/bootstrap) – CSS default settings • hslpicker.com

    – Color picker tool • visualmess.com – Design basics Design Tools Saturday, April 14, 12
  26. • RailsTutorial.org is fantastic • Help is available online •

    Dive into documentation • Be confident • Just code! In Conclusion Saturday, April 14, 12