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.
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.
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!!!