Posted October 25, 2013
Our first class of developers graduated from gSchool last July. Since then, our graduates have been rocking the free world with their coding skills. We’ll be featuring gSchool students past and present, plus the people who mentor and employ them, in this new series on our blog.
Erin Drummond is a graduate of our first gSchool class. She’s now a software developer at Table XI. One year ago Erin was working as a manager in an operations role at a large daily deals company. Switching careers to become a web developer wasn’t even on her radar. We caught up with Erin to get the backstory and see how things are going in her new job.
Posted October 16, 2013
Our tutorials website is powered by the open source tool Octopress. Out of the box there are some great tools for rendering code. However, it was missing a number of small features that we needed to assist new developers understand code.
Posted October 3, 2013
This is the first in a short series of blog posts that examine the gSchool curriculum through the lens of Andy Hunt’s Pragmatic Thinking & Learning.
This post considers the first 3 weeks of curriculum in light of the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition and how deliberate practice can be used to progress from one skill level to the next. These are covered in Chapter 2 of Pragmatic Thinking & Learning.
Posted October 3, 2013
In this follow up video I explore a solution to help manage the complexity of all the classes we have wrought.
Posted October 1, 2013
This post is bittersweet: I’m sad to say that as of today, I’m changing gears and no longer working with Jumpstart Lab.
Posted September 14, 2013
At the close of the first week several of the students asked me how they should prepare for the next week. Should they run through Ruby in 100 Minutes, Encryptor, Event Manager, MicroBlogger again? Should they start reading some serious Ruby language books? Should they start trying Ruby Koans, Learn Ruby the Hard Way or our warm up exercises?
This is what I told them:
Posted September 3, 2013
Back when we were planning Hungry Academy, a friend experienced with technical training asked “how on Earth do you put together a six month class?” We estimate that our students put in about 1600 hours over the course, but those hours are wasted unless they’re constantly challenged. The schedule is key.
Posted August 30, 2013
Conferences are a great way to grow your network, learn more about your craft, and have a great time along the way. In the Ruby world, we have dozens of great conferences you might consider, with some of my favorites being RubyConf, GORUCO, GoGaRuCo, and Rocky Mountain Ruby.
Posted July 10, 2013
We added daily warmup exercises to our curriculum when we started gSchool.
At first we gave the students a README and said “Go!”. The students responded by hacking out solutions.
We must have given them the impression that the goal was working code.
Posted June 25, 2013
Presenting at conferences is challenging – and worth it. Here are some resources that I’ve found useful in the past 18 months as I’ve started to prepare and present talks at technical conferences.
Posted June 11, 2013
Two years ago at Nordic Ruby, Chad Fowler and Joe O'Brien suggested that I should submit to speak at a conference. I immediately rejected the idea. Speaking is difficult enough when there are only 3 or 4 people present. Let’s not complicate matters by introducing a room full of nerds, most of whom are considerably smarter than I am. I had no experience, and besides, what would I talk about? Everything I know I learned on the internet. Surely everyone else has read all the same blog posts as I have.
Posted May 24, 2013
Nearly every morning, each day of the week at gSchool we start the day with a programming warm-up. What started as a rag-tag collection of programming exercises is slowly turning into an omnibus of great programming challenges.
Posted May 8, 2013
Recently, the gSchool students asked me how I keep up with so many Open Source projects. Between new commits and the social situation revolving around each one, it can get a bit complex. Luckily for them, I have an easy solution.
Posted May 4, 2013
You wade into real-world codebases and find yourself thigh-deep in layers upon layers of cruft left by hasty additions, rushed repairs, and shifting priorities.
This is often the reality of successful, long-lived applications. They have been shaped by immense pressures. If you don’t actively work to improve them, they become stagnant and they begin to rot.
Posted April 28, 2013
Back in the day, conference evenings were about writing code. While we all can enjoy an open bar here and there, we’ve partnered up with Heroku to do something a little different this Wednesday at RailsConf.
Posted April 23, 2013
casestatements. Our own MicroBlogger tutorial inspired me to put together a quick video on how I remove these dreaded statements from my code.
Posted April 19, 2013
… and even more thoughtless answers.
It seems like there are two sides to the ‘stupid question’ coin: The ‘infer’ side, and the ‘imply’ side.
Posted April 15, 2013
I do a lot of open source work, and it’s always great to see new people get involved! Sometimes, Open Source can be intimidating, though. Like many things, it’s easy once you’ve done it a few times, but that first time is the hardest. Today, I’d like to show you the simplest pull request you can possibly make: a spelling fix!
Posted April 12, 2013
There are a quite a few lessons that I have re-learned while teaching Ruby to this inaugural class of gSchool students.
Posted April 8, 2013
A standard question that most people coming into programming ask is: Do I need to know math to become a web developer?
The popular answer is an emphatic “NO!”, but to be honest, this is only correct for certain values of “Math”.
You don’t need to know topology or knot theory to do web development. You don’t need to be able to do calculus, trigonometry or linear algebra. In other words, when people say “NO!”, what I think they really mean is that you don’t need to be a mathlete.
Posted March 27, 2013
Parade is presentation software powered by Sinatra with slides written in Markdown. Parade 0.10 brings with it better support for mobile devices and quite a few common slide formats.
Posted March 21, 2013
One of the most common questions we get asked is “do you offer online classes?” Finally the answer is “Yes!”
Posted March 17, 2013
Today we’re excited to announce a new course: Professional Heroku.
I remember when Heroku first launched: an IDE that ran completely in your browser. It was awesome, ridiculous, and short-lived. But, in one of the better executed pivots our community has seen, Heroku has emerged as a fantastic hosting solution.
We’ve always made significant use of Heroku’s platform in our training programs. It’s quick, easy, and free – what more could you ask for?
Posted January 30, 2013
We’re constantly looking for excellent developers that are also passionate, effective instructors. That’s an incredibly rare combination.
When I met Katrina Owen at Frozen Rails last year, I instantly knew she was the kind of person we needed.
Posted November 1, 2012
With LivingSocial’s first Hungry Academy class in the books, we’re turning our attention to creating a tuition-based long-term developer training school in Colorado.
Posted August 30, 2012
Jeff Casimir gives a talk on Internationalization & Localization.
Posted August 25, 2012
Posted August 24, 2012
Everyone acknowledges that the software field has an issue with gender balance, but there are many of arguments about what to do about it.
Posted June 23, 2012
Building Developers: Lessons Learned from Hungry Academy
Here’s the quick story of what’s worked, what hasn’t, and the lessons learned as we try to solve the developer shortage.
Posted April 23, 2012
Rails did a lot to bring REST to developers, but its conception leaves the REST devotee feeling a bit empty. “Where’s the hypermedia?” she says. “REST isn’t RPC,” he may cry. “WTF??!?!” you may think. “I have it right there! resources :posts ! What more is there? RPC? Huh?”
Posted February 5, 2012
“Ruby can’t scale.” Tell that to LivingSocial, Groupon, Gowalla, Sony, and the rest of our community pushing millions of requests per day.
Posted January 16, 2012
Tuesday 1/17/2012 at noon I’ll join friends Roz Lemioux from Fission Strategy and Ryan Seashore from CodeNow to talk about “learning to program” on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi show. You can listen live at http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2012-01-17/training-where-tech-jobs-are-coding
Posted January 13, 2012
Yesterday at CodeMash 2012 in Sandusky, Ohio, I gave a five minute lightning talk about something that’s been in my mind: the developer’s life of privilege. Here’s the text of my talk…