Fun at #railscamp

This weekend, I attended my first Rails Camp. I’ve been lucky enough to observe the Rails community from afar for the past 4-5 years through my good friends Pat Allan, Nathan Sampimon and others from the Inspire9, Melbourne and Sydney communities. I’ve always been impressed, and a little envious, of the apparent fun, engagement and progressive collaboration these people seem to share with others all over the world. Now, I’ve gotten the chance to see it up close.

#railscamp artifacts

I started learning Ruby on Rails about 8 months ago. I wanted to learn how to code, because I’ve begun to want the ability to create useful ‘things’ from the large number of API’s that the social web now provides. Also, Rails is very much symbiotic with the idea of Test Driven Development, which means writing tests for your code before you begin actually writing the code. It’s a brilliant methodology and something I’d like to see move over into the broader business and product management worlds.

It's green. Amazing! #railscamp cc @rosshill

I found the Rails Camp experience fantastic, if not a bit confronting at first. Even though I knew quite a few people from the Trampoline, Inspire9 and Melbourne/Sydney startup communities it’s a different feeling to being in the same large room together with everyone staring at their Mac’s. But I sat down, got stuck in an started building a little app which will manage how you borrow books from the new Inspire9 bookshelf. We finished the very basic app on Monday morning, at about 2am and I’m excited to see it deployed sometime in the next little while.


I’d like to send a huge thanks to the guys that patiently paired with me over the weekend; John Barton, Pat, Nathan and Richie Khoo. Each taught me something a little different and began exposing me to different ideas, for which I’m hugely grateful. I probably won’t grok most of it for another few months, but being exposed to it has been amazing. Thanks guys!

So now, the challenge is to continue learning Rails a little bit each day. Until the next Rails Camp!!!

13 thoughts on “Fun at #railscamp

    1. Hi Arunan,

      Awesome! I guess, on reflection, I actually don’t know how I would code
      _without_ the TDD. The green screen you can see is a Gem called RSpec ( although Rails comes with it’s own testing framework
      (it’s your ‘Test’ folder), Rspec is better. Maybe check out Rspec, and work
      on writing a test before you write the code to make it pass.

      One tip/handy snippet of info. When I was pairing with John we played a game
      called ‘Ping Pong’ – one of us would write a failing test, then the other
      one would make the test pass before then writing their own failing test.
      Then the next person would make the test pass and then write another failing

      If you can find someone to pair with, that would help you understand the
      process of writing and passing tests.

      1. I’ve heard of rspec… didnt realise it had a gui… thought it would be just green text on the console 🙂

        Did you want to pair program sometime? If your in MELB that is… (I’ve done this once and found it a really fun learning/productive activity…)

      2. Yeah, RSPec has a gui – I was on a mac that night and was hitting ‘Command +
        R’ to get it to run. You can also run it through your terminal. The gui has
        more ‘green’ though lol 🙂

        I’d love to pair, but I’m living in Sydney now-days so this would make that
        fairly hard Let me know if you’re ever up, though, as I’d love to. Your
        other option is to head to Inspire9 drop in desks – they’re a awesome ruby
        web-dev shop, and there are always lots of folks floating around that can
        help you out.

        Check out @inspire9 on twitter.

      3. I will see you in August then! 😉 Tehehehe…

        Yes, have heard of inspire9; trying to find time to drop there… (working full-time) 🙂

        Thanks for the tips!

        P.S: Could you point me to a tutorial on RSPEC and the gui thing you used…

  1. Will be great to see the app when it’s going. Same with me I think in trying to fit some rails in as much as possible to keep learning.

  2. Not enough information about scotch in this post. Just saying. Rails, blah blah, inspiring, blah, not eaten by nerds, (interesting) where’s the bit about the hard liquor?

  3. Well done Steve.
    Hats off for the courage that took to go up to a camp environment that you weren’t similar with.

     I am looking forward to seeing your ongoing cucumber evolution in the next few months/years. Please continue to be my Ruby-BS-generator teacher. Love ya mate, Eddie

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