Rubies and Rupees!

10.5 weeks down!  14 more days of class.  I can’t believe how quickly things are coming to an end.  In some regards, it still feels like this bootcamp is a totally new thing. Which makes sense, it’s only been a bit over 2 months… But on the other hand, it’s like “how can it be ending soon?! This has been my life for so long now! I won’t see my new friends as much!” 

It’s a weird dichotomy for sure.  The good news is there’s not much time to lament something fun and interesting coming to an end.  After spending the majority or our time using JavaScript, we’re finally learning our second language: Ruby! 

I’ve always wanted to learn Ruby, for no other reason than I thought it had the sweetest name of the programming languages.  C? Boring.  Java? Woof, I hate coffee.  Python? Meh, snakes are kind of odd.  But Ruby? Damn, find me someone who doesn’t like rubies.

I always think of two things when I think or “Ruby.”  The first one is probably silly, but I think of Link collecting all of his “rupees,” especially that red one worth 20  I always loved the Zelda games, so I’m automatically in a good mood when something reminds me of that.  I know they’re spelled differently, but I think of them as generally the same thing.

And the second thing?  I always picture that scene from “Aladdin” where Abu and Aladdin go into that weird pop-up treasure trove in the middle of the desert and Abu does so well showing self-restraint the whole time until…. Well you know the movie.  He sees that bad ass ruby and can’t control himself.  If you think it’s not a ruby, I don’t want you reading my blog, because you’re gonna bring me down and I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.  I want to learn Ruby because it reminds of that sweet little monkey feigning over a ruby buried in a crazy sand-cave. Oh yeah, and there’s a magical flying carpet!

So yeah… pretty excited to learn Ruby. For several reasons.  Disney stuff aside, I’m excited to get into my first “other language.”  I’ve heard that once you know one programming language, the next one becomes easier to learn, and the next one is easier to learn after that, and so on.  We’ve done some brief intro work, and I’ve got to admit, it was quite strange to go from immediately finishing our third project (more on that in a sec) to going right into learning a new language and relearning about basic data types.  It was certainly a change of pace, and I’d say a welcome one at that.

From my admittedly very basic knowledge of Ruby so far, it seems like there are a good number of similarities.  Sure the syntax is different in areas, but the basic idea is the same.  You can still use loops, you can still write conditional if statements, you still have strings and integers, etc.  Will things blow up and go a totally different direction once we get the past the basics? No idea!  I’ll be sure to let you know in a week.

As I mentioned earlier, we just finished up our third project.  This was our first experience doing a group project.  I actually really enjoyed the process, definitely more so than working alone.  I’ve always loved working with others and collaborating and firmly believe multiple brains will almost always trump any individual effort.  I think this becomes especially true as the scope of the things we’re trying to create continues to grow.

My group (henceforth referred to as “The Streamrs”) spent a lot of time trying to think of a problem we encountered that we wanted to see solved.  After long deliberations, and lots of less than great ideas, we came up with something we think would actually be useful: Resourcerer!

The idea was to provide a consolidated list of programming tutorials that are out there.  More than that, we want them to be user-reviewed and ranked.  One of the struggles we all encountered in our time leading up to the course and even during was that we’d google “Ruby tutorial” or something similar, and then we’d click a link and really have no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  Would it be worth it? Was it good for beginners? How much time would I sink into this? Did others like it? Etc etc.  The Streamrs thought it’d be really valuable to have a lot of user reviews giving people a better idea of what they could expect from a given online tutorial. 

We’re still in the process of deploying the site, so bare with us.  But I think we’re all pretty proud of how it came out and believe in the idea of it.  Currently, it’s still a ways off from being truly functional and useful, but I think the framework and idea is there for something beneficial to a lot of people. 

Well that’s all for now.  It’s almost time for class and I’ve got some Ruby to learn! 

Until next time,



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