Ok, so, I think I am hating on Treehouse. I was going along, doing my Ruby development course on there, learning the Ruby On Rails system and at the same time practicing Ruby on Codecademy.
I had watched all the Treehouses lessons on building the web app in Ruby on Rails and was moving on to the advanced, second section. However, at that point I was all of a sudden completely lost, and thought, I better go back and start again from the beginning, and build something myself so I really understand it.
I thought I would kind of follow what they were doing, but create something a bit more customised to what I wanted – that is, instead of just having an app that showed a user and a status update like they did, I wanted to have users that could record books they had read, the authors and comments about the books.
I think this made the database more complicated than Treehouse wanted me to learn – at which point I discovered that Treehouse wasn’t actually teaching you how to build something in general – they were teaching you only to build something very simple and very specific, without a general overview of Rails, the different parts of Rails, what could be done with it, etc.
I wanted something to teach me exactly how to build things in Ruby on Rails, but also to understand what Ruby on Rails was used for in general, and I am starting to suspect that Treehouse is not the way. Not only was the course very narrow, but the forums were pretty hopeless. Questions were going unanswered, and the community just wasn’t there like it was in Codecademy. This might be because Codecademy is free, and therefore has more members – but at the same time, Treehouse is a paid subscription, and so you would think they would get some staff or moderators to go in and help their paying students out!
As far as understanding Rails goes, I felt like I had come to a dead end. So, I am going to have to go elsewhere to learn…
Net Tuts has recommended a route to learning Ruby on Rails;
- Learn Ruby – they recommend tryruby.org. I am learning via Codecademy, and hopefully that has taught me some good stuff – but I might see if it stacks up against Try Ruby.
- Install Ruby and Ruby on Rails – I have already done this via Treehouse.
- A 40 minutes Net Tuts screencast about starting with Ruby on Rails,…maybe I will try it – because it’s free, and also because this is the kind of thing Treehouse completely glossed over.
- Rails for Zombies from Code School. I was thinking about doing that anyway, and it is free, so it is on my to-do list. There is a second part that isn’t free – but obviously I will wait to see what I think of the first one.
- It then recommends a text book – Agile Web Development with Rails. I am not sure how I feel about learning coding through a text book – I feel like it will be dense, long and difficult….but this book was also recommended by Stack Overflow, so if I get this far, I might do it (Although, Stack Overflow recommendations don’t mean too much to me, because I assume that all the people on there have a lot more knowledge than me, and that I shouldn’t be using the same resources because I won’t understand them).
- This is the point in the list where I got bored. It goes on to say make a blog, then make that blog more complicated, then make something else, then stay up to date…but that is all a long way away for me I think…
I feel like the beginning of that list is do-able anyway. Treehouse has made me want to give up on Rails entirely, but I’m sure it is really good, and I just need another teacher. Let’s see if this Net Tuts screencast can redeem it for me.
Also, I am thinking of re-subscribing to Lynda and doing this course. It will also take you through an example (building a CMS), but it seems like it will give more information about what all the different parts of Ruby on Rails are. That Lynda course says Ruby knowledge would be good, but not completely necessary – so I assume that the Ruby I have learnt on Codecademy should be sufficient.
If I do this Lynda course it will take 12.5 hours just to watch all the videos, which, if I did an hour a day (my time budgeted), would take me almost to the end of the month, and I might not even have built my little app yet!
I will try hard to catch up this weekend – but I am not going to beat myself up about it too much.
In other coding news – I have discovered a Ruby development school in Sydney that teaches an intensive course – it is $10,000 for 10 weeks! I understand that it would be a lot of face to face hours, and probably worth it if you could get a job in Ruby development after – but where are people getting 10k to splash around? That’s what I want to know! And if you do have $10k cash to spend – maybe you shouldn’t be changing career!