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17 Jan 2012, 21:36
Agis (1 post)

Hi all.

I’m Ruby & Rails newbie, I come from PHP but never did any serious development. I’m currently on the Iteration E on the book and I can say that I’m doing fine until now: I understand the code (90%) and I’m solving the Playtime exercises most of the times.

Thing is, I think I’m moving pretty slow (3rd day, page 122) since I’m reading the same pages again and again, trying to assimilate everything and I’m constantly thinking: “what have I learned until now? what I’ve learned before? can I do this again on my own?” and things like this.

I mean, for a newbie, all this info and the things that happen magically by the framework can be overwhelming. Every iteration on the Depot application contains a bunch of new stuff to learn, understand and remember.

Are we supposed to understand every bit of code that we’re doing while developing the Depot application, or we may understand some things later that are explained in detail in the following chapters (after the application)?

Am I the only one that feels kinda “lost” in the info? Many times while I’m reading a page, I’m thinking about the terms & things I’ve learned in the previous pages and scroll up to check them again. Not that I don’t understand them, but I forget them as I learn new things again. I’m always thinking that if I’m asked to start again from zero and do everything I did until now, I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of things.

On the other hand, sometimes I think that just by reading a book and just type code you’re given (even if you investigate it) is not enough to learn ― you must eventually try to build something on your own, face your problems and solve them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging anyone or anything, I’m just sharing my thoughts here and see if anyone else is experiencing the same “issues”.

27 Jan 2012, 23:16
haden (2 posts)

Hi Agis,

It sounds like you’ve been a bit overwhelmed by all the ‘info’, as you say. I can empathize since I’m working my way through this book after having ‘learned’ Rails three years ago (but then not working with it much). Depending on where you’re coming from, Rails can be a steep climb. There’s definitely much to learn, but it’s worth it because you incorporate many of the ‘best practices’ into your practice which makes you a better, more productive programmer.

I also think this book would’ve been difficult for me as a first Rails book. I found both “Simply Rails” and “Learning Rails” to be good introductions.

Sounds like you’re progressing. Good luck!

03 Feb 2012, 21:18
farout (5 posts)


Like everything is life, you will not understand everything at the first time, second time, or even the third. Just keep typing the the code, and googling the errors. You will make progress and then by the fifth or sixth time, typing the same bloody code - you say haha - I get it.

Something dead easy to try:

also:ruby rails 3.0 a free student mail

They are more simple and will help you get your bearings then return to Agile book because it is awesome!

23 Feb 2012, 07:54
Michael Buchanan (1 post)


Thanks for making this post. I am also a newcomer to Ruby and Rails, and to programming / web development in general. I just finished Chapter 11 of this book, and I am finding myself in the same position. In the early chapters of the book I understood everything, and felt like I was holding a clear conceptual image of the application in my mind as I worked through through each iteration. I think at around chapter 9 I began to realize that I was getting into deeper water, and was having a harder time keeping everything straight.

I think this is perfectly okay, despite it being frustrating and headache-inducing at times (Just now, trying to adapt all the AJAX iterations to implement jQuery for Rails 3.1 has taken a toll on me). Prior to starting this book, I was working through the Rails 3 videos, and I had a very similar experience towards the last few chapters of that course. It’s just a lot of information all at once. I think that the process of going through the motions, typing out the code, running the tests, fixing the occasional version-related problem, and just generally spending a serious amount of time thinking about web apps from a behind the scenes perspective is instructive. I completely sympathize with where you’re coming from - I’m trying to learn this stuff as fast as possible for a potential job doing rails development for the company I work for - but this unfortunately is one of those “Rome wasn’t built in a day” scenarios.

I do think that an important next step in the learning process is to apply what you’re learning to a project of your own design. Try making an app that’s got some similar functionality to the depot app, and see how far you can get. When you get stumped, try and solve the problem by google searching. Or try adding some other features that aren’t included in this app, and again use google to see if you can piece one together. There’s something about doing it yourself without a book or video guiding your hand that really cements things in place in your mind.

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