Resources: Ruby, Rails, Javascript & The Rest

Posted by Denise Pendleton-Lipinski on July 10, 2018

Before starting at the Flatiron school I used a few different avenues to try to learn to code on my own. I attended a meetup where we started to learn how to create Android apps and through this I was introduced to Udacity and it’s many videos and courses. From there I stumbled upon CodeAcademy, FreeCodeCamp, The Khan Academy, and so many others. I quickly realized that there is a huge amount of information out there if you really want to learn. However, as I’ve been on this journey for a while there are a few places that I consistently turn to because I know I will always get helpful information. Here are some of my favorites:

Youtube

Traversy Media I have learned so much from the videos on Traversy Media’s channel. The Tech Guy teaches web development and basic programming fundamentals across several differnt languages. He has videos that teach the very core fundamentals of several languages but then he builds upon that basic information by showing you how to build a project with that language. He builds the projects in real time and when he has errors he shows you exactly how to debug them. I’ve turned to his videos so many times since I’ve been a Flatiron student. I’ve reviewed several of his videos on Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, Git, Bash, and others. Take a look - I’m sure you’ll find something useful.

DevTips This channel was created with the novice web developer in mind. Recently the channel has changed hands but it continues to be just as useful as before. The videos are informative and a pleasure to watch because they’re so entertaining - the older videos more so than the newer ones. If you are new to web development take a look at this channel.

FunFun Function This channel is for a more experienced programmer and is mainly focused on Javascript. MPJ, the presenter, says that his videos are for developers in their first jobs or about a year on the job. He focuses on explaining WHY. Why Javascript works the way it does. His thinking is that by understanding why, we will better understand what we’re doing. Though very technical, these videos are extremely entertaining because MPJ is so funny and each episode is presented like an actual tv show. I look forward to each weeks new episode.

Udemy

Before I decided to sign up as a student at the Flatiron School I decided that I would first purchase a few courses on Udemy to see if web development was something that I could really enjoy. I bought and went through a few courses. I found that though teaching styles are different and you can learn something from every course there are some instructors that just stand out because of their thoroughness and presentation style. Here are a few of my favorites.

The Web Developer Bootcamp This course has an almost cult-like following and for good reason. It is built for those new to web development and to coding in general. Since I was new to both coding and web development this class was perfect for me. I continue to refer to it as I go through the Flatiron curriculum, especially the javascript section. But this course is more than HTML, CSS, & JS. It also covers databases (MongoDB), restful routing, JS frameworks (node.js and Express), git, the command line, and more. Everyone new to web development should invest in this course.

Dissecting Ruby On Rails 5 I’m currently going through the Rails section of the Flatiron program and this course has been invaluable . Jordan Hudgens, the course creator, also created a portion of the Learn.co curriculum so it makes sense that his course would fit in so well with what I’m learning at Flatiron. The course goes over the basics of Rails (it assumes you know a little Ruby) and walks you through creating an app with Rails and also Rails and Javascript.

Books

Ruby On Rails Tutorial I don’t need to say much about this book because it is the Rails Holy Grail. What I will say is that I have read through this entire book (I actually bought it on Amazon before I realized it’s free on the web) and it is so helpful. I expected this to be extremely technical and a bore to read because how interesting can a book about programming be? This book is written in a way that actually holds your attention and it covers everything needed to effectively learn Rails. The book walks you through writing, testing and deploying three real apps so you are forced to learn everything.

Head First Ruby Head First Web Design I adore the Head First Books and I have several of them. I continue to refer to these two while learning at Flatiron. These books dive into the why as well as the how. What I love most about the Head First books is how they teach with diagrams, short quizzes, and games to reinforce your learning. This forces you to not just read but also dissect what you’ve learned to truly understand it. I’m also a visual learner so having diagrams and drawings of the concepts really drive things home.

Eloquent Ruby I don’t remember what led me to buy this book but I am so glad I did. It teaches Ruby best practices. This book is for someone who already has a basic but thorough understanding of Ruby. While reading this book I kept finding myself saying* “I didn’t know that”, “That’s so cool!”, or “Ohhhh, now I get it!”* Eloquent Ruby will open your eyes to the power and beauty of the Ruby programming language.

Websites

Medium

Quora

There is so much information out there on the web and it’s so easy to get sucked into a black hole but these two websites never fail to provide useful information. I’m on quora every day because some problem that I google has been answered on Quora. I think of Quora as a kinder, gentler Stack Overflow. Whereas on Stack Overfow you can usually find the code needed to fix your problem, Quora members seem to give a much more thorough explanation of why this code works and why you would use one solution over another.

Medium is just fun to read. I enjoy reading through the blog postings and I’m always being exposed to something new. Which of course leads to more research - but it’s fun research so I don’t mind.

Podcasts

Code Newbie This podcast was created by Flatiron Alumni Saron Yitbarek. She talks about being a new developer, interviewing as someone new to coding, the different career paths of developers, and a host of other topics. As someone new in development and hoping to make this my career in the future, it is very helpful and encouraging to hear about the journey of others. Saron also has a newer joint podcast called BaseCS where she presents computer science fundaments to those new to computer science.

What resources do you utilize on your journey to becoming a better web developer?