Ruby & HTML Enthusiasts

Ruby & HTML Enthusiasts

Greetings Ruby & HTML Enthusiasts!

I want to thank you for your participation and attention last week in the first lesson of “Introduction to Programming using Ruby”. This week begins our journey down the exciting road of after school boot camp, but do not fear, you will succeed.

This blog post represents more than a message or article, but it represents the type of work I know you are capable of i.e. building a website and staying active in a digital world. After reading everyone’s registration form and idea cards, it became clear what the “work in progress” project was going to be. YOU! Yes you, will create a website that will act as a resume/portfolio for your newly acquired skill of programming. Of course, you can post other interesting things about yourself or business initiative, but the key element (techie jargon) of the website will be demonstrating your skills. So please come up with domain names asap.

“Make Technology Work For You.”

~Jason Thigpen

Now before the anxiety sets in, let us not forget why we are here and the purpose of the class. The purpose of this workshop is to expose participants to the structure and various possibilities of programming with Ruby (A dynamic object-oriented programming language). The goal is not to make you a programmer, but instead introduce you to possibilities of programming. As with many things in life, the next step depends on you. For those that continue to participant with your children, please keep in mind that no matter how much technology the child has been exposed too and no matter how well they execute tasks, they are still children and will for a long time require parental guidance. Stay firm with new vocabulary words and come up with creative fun ways for your children to perform task and assist you on this path of learning.

Side Note: I want to take a moment to thank Christy Crawford for making this class happen and continuing to encourage children and adults to learn about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.

NOW, let’s get to work.

Hopefully, everyone has created an account on Code School and started the “Try Ruby” class to follow along with our class. We also started using which is an online environment for interactively exploring programming languages. In other words, it mirrors the terminal emulators, code editors, and interpreters that you would typically run on your computer at home if you wanted to program. *Because is built as a testing environment, the left hand side of the Ruby screen is meant for multiple lines of code, but on the right hand side you get a one line terminal response similar to the “TryRuby” exercise mentioned above.
In the first lesson, we learned about fixed numbers, strings, and two methods (.reverse & .length). The take home assignment was to continue to explore fixed numbers, create “strings” and continue to use the method commands until you produce an error. As mentioned in class, the more errors you produce on purpose, the easier it will be to overcome this frustrating part of programming in the long term.

Lastly for this week, I wanted to share an article for motivational purposes. James Fend started out as a web designer and like many of us, wanted a change. Please take a moment to read his story and take note of the following:

  • He gives the same advice that I mentioned last week in class, the best way to learn is “By working on an actual project, something that means something to you”
  • He mentions a few tools, tech groups, and acronyms which we will cover. So don’t focus on it now
  • Lastly, you will find links in the article to James’ website Freelancity which he has since sold and his mentor Josh Crews’ website. Both websites operate on the Ruby on Rails platform which we will cover later on.

Also since you are here, check out my website as well. (Not built on Ruby, but I will start a Ruby project right along with you all in class.)