Old Guy New Trick

An old guys journey to learn how to code.

3 Noobs at Lillies

Author: John on April 17, 2014

This evening I attended the RubyJax OpenHacks event at Lilly's Cafe out at the beach.  I believe the normal schedule has the OpenHacks event on the third Thursday of each month.  I like to get to th event a bit early as parking in that area can be a royal pain.

Shortly after I settled in, another new guy to the group, Jesse, joined me.  I had met Jesse a previous week at one of the Code & Coffee events.  We got to talk a little bit about ourselves and what we were trying to accomplish in our quest of learning.

Enter the third n00b, Josh.  I was starting wonder if Micah has set the three of us in a fun game of snipe hunting.  Get all the new people together and laugh at them from a distance.  :)  The three of chatter a bit back and forth for a while, sharing some of our experiences.

One can learn from others that are new to Ruby, or anything for that matter.  For example, Jesse shared a neat tool he was using with me called Dash (http://kapeli.com/dash).  This is a neat little app that sources the documentation of too many to count languages and frameworks.  I downloaded the app while he was demonstrating, and was excited to see all of the reference material available for the subjects I was interested in.  And then some!

I shared my current experience with Bloc.io and demonstrated their website, including a sample of some of the lessons I had completed and the one I had just started - my big project.  About this time Michah had showed up and I know that at least I felt at ease.  Micah had helped me before with some learning and I was hoping to pick his brain again.

Before we get to that though, Josh took a turn at sharing some resources.  The one that really stuck out to me was this website:  http://gitimmersion.com/  I found this site to be a great resource, for the beginner, in learning how to use git.  So far I've made it up to lab 14.  What I find really useful about this site is that I will be able to use the lessons on the site to help educate my fellow team workers at my day job.  Trying hard to get us all to use version control.

Just at I was getting ready to ask Micah a question, we had another join our group.  I was surprised, but very please to see Paolo Perrota join our group.  I think it is safe to say that all of use new guys were very happy to be hanging with two Ruby Gurus.

Rounding out the evening I reached out for some help with a coding issue I was having.  For the OOB Web app that I've been developing for the day job, I need to support an older app.  This app uses the same data that I'm migrating to the web app.  But the data in the files that support the app need to be delimited with a : and contain fields that we no longer need.  I had been able to figure out how to build that information as a : delimited export via the browser, but what I really needed was a rake task that could build two text files.

Working with Micah, he showed me where I was doing things correctly, and where I was making some mis-steps.  Using his guidance I was able to finish writing my second rake job - exporting the data.  I don't recall if I have mentioned it before, but Micah also helped me construct my first rake job - importing the data.

The time at Lilly's flew by, but I'm confident in saying that all of us newbies learned something useful.  Looking forward to the next Code & Coffee and OpenHacks events.

Learn Something New Every Day

Last Edited by: John on December 29, 2015