Newbies: Help Me Help You

A good long while ago, Curt Hibbs (author of the original, famous, Slashdotted Rolling with Rails tutorial for ONLamp—who literally jumpstarted my Rails writing career) commented on one of my blog entries. Somebody was saying my content was only useful for utter noobs, and then the dude pimped someone else’s site for the more “advanced” readers who don’t find what I write “interesting.” Curt, gentleman that he is, responded to this person using his own comment:

Amy, there’s been plenty written for beginners so writing at the intermediate level (those who yearn for a deeper undertsanding) is excellent. Further, writing about area that frustrated or confused you [is] also good because others are likely to have had the same experience (plus later on you’ll forget about it as everything becomes more natural)…

And he was right—certainly, the amount of traffic I get to this web site (largely click-throughs once people read my very first article) proves that it’s an important angle. And I have largely forgotten about what tripped me up and hurt my wee little designer brain. Rails is natural to me now, and I wish I’d written more about it when it was all fresh and confusing.

Getting Back to Basics

But I have to shake off my higher-level understanding, if only for a while, if I want to write a really kickass book (especially since I’m trying a different approach than most). And I really do want to, and I’m working hard to do so.

I also know that nothing great is truly ever achieved alone. To that end, I’d love to know what tripped you up or is in the process of tripping you up. What just hasn’t gelled yet in your understanding of Rails? What confused you? What made you feel like you were wandering around without a map or even a compass? Post your questions here, or poke me on the #rubyonrails IRC channel (again: I’m eriberri on freenode).

My goal here isn’t to be strictly question-and-answer, so if it’s your painful memory of what took you a long time to understand in the past, that’s great too. And I can’t guarantee that I will address every confusing thing you post, but I’ll try.

Thank You

I also promise that I won’t stop writing on my blog just to save it all for my book, because that’d be turning my back on the very folks who made it possible for me to write a book in the first place. Even if you never comment here on any topic, envisioning you out there’s what led me to write and gave me a direction and a voice.

Thank you.

No Comments

  1. There is some strange behaviour with this 🙂

  2. I thout to do it in my local version 🙁

  3. I had and the fix I found 🙂

  4. Gonna have to give it a try!

  5. I use Firefox in Ubuntu 🙁

  6. There is some strange behaviour with this 🙂

  7. I thout to do it in my local version…

  8. Gonna have to give it a try…

  9. But I’m not sure why 🙁

  10. Vespa Sprint says:

    There is some strange behaviour with this!

  11. The problem is my browser.

  12. The content of your show is great, I really enjoy it…

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