Monthly Archives: May 2013

Forking and Cloning on GitHub

Forking and cloning a project from GitHub is a way to copy all the code and files from someone elses project onto your own machine. For some reason, I never remember the steps to do this.

I’m not sure how many times I have watched this video or WHY it doesn’t stay in my head, but just in case I can’t find it one day, I’m posting it here…

The Steps

  1. Navigate to the appropriate GitHub Project
  2. Click on the Fork Button – this creates a fork in your own repository
  3. Copy the SSH or HTML address (More info later on the difference)
  4. Open up your terminal and make sure you are in the appropriate directory for your project
  5. Then you need to type this (replace the URI with whatever the one you have is).

$ git clone

And that’s it!

GitHub has mystified me a lot, so now and then I try to understand it better. Here I found a good resource, and while some of it is still a bit beyond me, I appreciated the description here of the basic Git workflow:

  • git init will create an empty Git repository in the current directory or a directory you specify. If you want to work on an existing repository that lives at a remote location, use git clone.
  • To make sure you have the latest version of the repository (if you cloned from a remote, upstream location), use git pull.
  • After adding new files or making changes to existing ones, add your changes withgit add.
  • Commit and describe your changes with git commit.
  • Use git push to send your changes to a remote location, such as GitHub.

I’m still a beginner, so let me know of any tips or resources you have with regard to GitHub.

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Rails Girls Brisbane

Rails Girls Brisbane

Borrowed this from the events Facebook page

This weekend I travelled to Brisbane to participate in Rails Girls Brisbane – two days of women learning to code from mentors who already work in the industry. I had such a fantastic time, and met such lovely people – it made me sad that I don’t live in Brisbane!

My main aims were to

1. Ask the list of questions I had accumulated through all my self-learning these last few months.

2. Find out about other resources people were using to learn

3. Talk to people who work in the industry about how they got into it, what they would recommend to a new starter, etc.

What the event included.

  •  On the Friday night we went to Fortitude Valley where we met the mentors and had some teamwork sessions (never my favourite, but it was fun). This was also the night where you got to install the necessary stuff onto your computers and get ready for coding on Saturday. There were some issues with internet connection, having so many people in one room, but otherwise it went smoothly I think.
  • On the Saturday morning we were taken through the basics of how the internet works, a bit of HTML, CSS and then the basics of the Ruby language.
  • After the Ruby presentation, we were let loose on to practice our skills. The girls I spoke to seemed to love this exercise – and it really cemented what the guys had been talking to us about.
  • In the afternoon we used the Rails Girls website to build the Rails Girls app and ask the mentors all the questions we needed to. This was the most valuable part of the event for me, because I had a lot of questions saved up. My only issue with this part of the event was that there wasn’t enough explanation, and for a lot of people it degenerated into a series of cut and paste, without a lot of comprehension. Luckily I had a lot of questions ready.


  • According to the guys I spoke to who are already in the industry (including the head of the Ruby community in Australia, Nigel Rausch), there are not enough Rails developers, and employers are crying out for more. BUT having said that, many of the mentors and organisers also acknowledged a gap in learning stages to get people trained up, and didn’t have a lot of advice on how to bridge that gap, other than the adhoc help you can get within the (amazing) Ruby community.
  • No one had heard of Ruby or Rails internships – and they thought it would be too time and resource intensive for employers to have such a thing.
  • They recommended joining the Ruby on Rails community in Sydney. I normally hate networking, but talking to all the people at Brisbane Rails Girls was painless and really helpful, they were all so lovely. So, I am going to get brave and go to some soon in Sydney.
  • Everyone was really, really friendly at Rails Girls Brisbane. I wonder if Brisbane is friendlier than Sydney?
  • As a sponsor, General Assembly offered a $1,000 scholarship to attend their back end web development course in Sydney – and as the only Sydney-sider in attendance, I got to have it! I think this is going to be a great way to develop my skills and close the gap, and now I just need to find out when I can attend.


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General Assembly and Google

Last night I went to a presentation held in Google HQ and run by General Assembly – it was basically a series of talks about why you should learn to code, how it can be done, and, of course, why General Assembly is the best place to do it.

I myself have considered General Assembly, they have a good reputation and the courses look great – BUT they have never been good timing for me (so far).

The presentations were interesting, and here is my digest:

  • One of the managers of the school – unfortunately I missed this section due to my unfamiliarity with the horrendous Sydney traffic on a dark and rainy peak hour, but I guess it was a sales pitch of some sort.
  • A woman from Google who is their liaison with schools, students, startups and other people learning to code
  • A tutor from GA - very interesting talk, probably my favourite, and he gave me a list of Ruby resources which I will list on my resources page and at the end of this post.
  • A student from GA front end course- Sick of her job, she did the front end course and created a beautiful website which she showed us. She made the course sound fun and interesting, but I’m not sure the front end is for me.
  • A Student from GA back end course - Sick of his job, he did the back end course and created a great website app which he showed us. He made the course sound intense (he said it was the hardest two months of his life, which I hope was an exaggeration or else maybe he is not very old). I am quite interested in this course, which is two nights a week for 10 weeks. I am reaaally interested in their full time 3 month course which combines front and back end stuff, but who has 3 months full time up their sleeve!?
  • A Google software engineer. – despite working for Google (supposedly the most fun company in the world to work for), he did not inspire me to want to be a software engineer and actually it sounded a bit depressing. He also made it sound a bit unattainable. I think I want to be a hacker, not an engineer.

Eduardo, the tutor, made coding seem like fun and something totally achievable. He finished his presentation by sharing some Ruby resources we might find useful:

  1. Rails Tutorials by Michael Hartl
  2. Ruby on Rails Screencasts
  3. Ruby Koans – seems intense

This weekend I am flying to Brisbane to attend Rails Girls Brisbane – YES that is how keen I am. I have so many questions I want to ask, I hope I have time to ask them…

(Note that last night I had no time for questions because the person that I went with hustled me out the door as soon as speeches were over because it was 8pm and he was starving. Ok, I was too).

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About Not Giving Up on Coding

Sometimes I am totally excited about coding. Like a few weeks ago when I considered going to Canada for a summer of coding – was pretty, pretty excited.

But then sometimes, I feel down on myself. Like when it takes me 2 hours to do something simple. Or when I can’t find help online. Or when I see another coder who is around 11 years old doing something amazing and I am three times their age with about one hundredth of their knowledge.

See? See how negative I can be?

At times like this I try to stop myself and….

Inspirational quotes to stick with it

If you have something you are trying to achieve and you sometimes despair over how it is going – I dare you to say this to yourself daily.

I’m sure you won’t believe it at first. But if you say it daily, it could seep into your subconscious.

So now – let me talk about a few things in my coding journey this week which SHOULD increase my excitement levels and inspire my learning:

One event, tomorrow night, is held by General Assembly at Google headquarters in Sydney. It is a general learning thing where you can find out about all the different languages, and ask developers questions (all very high level – which is excellent, as I am nothing if not high level).

This will be good for information, but I hope they don’t try to sales me too much because I have limited education budget right now. (Having said that, one of my friends did say that a structured course might be the best way to maintain focus and productivity, and I am semi-agreeing with them. I just don’t have the budget right now).

The second event is Rails Girls Brisbane - which is being held – surprisingly – in Brisbane. So I will fly up there, and attend the free event plus get to see my sister and another couple friends. Rails Girls is about educating women about technology and I have SO many questions I want to ask them.

Next week I might put up a post showing all my questions/answers and maybe also whether any of my preconceptions were smashed by actually talking to people who work in Ruby and Rails.


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Ruby on Rails – Things to Remember

There are a few things you will use all the time in Ruby on Rails, and maybe you will forget them now and again. So here are my tips to …myself I guess?

To Start and Stop Rails Server

Rails Server

Control C

To Start and Stop Rails Console

Rails Console

Exit or Control D

To Start a Rails Sandbox

rails console --sandbox

Rake Things

‘Rake’ is like ‘Ruby Make’. To remember Rake commands type

rake --tasks

To see a list of routes write

rake routes

Accessing Your App

While in development, it is here http://localhost:3000


These are just the things I need to remember all the time – but actually I am sure there are more that other people use


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