We’re feeling particularly proud of our training alumni this evening.
Jeff Mehlhoff recently completed our Beginning Rails training class. On his way home to Florida, he wrote yiloveit.com. It was the first time he had used Test-Driven Development to write a Rails app.
Although it only has one model and one controller, it’s an impressive app.
100% test coverage using suspenders (shoulda and factory_girl) and then some paperclip action.
We’ve trained 78 developers in Ruby on Rails in the past five months. The design of the classes have evolved such that Rails & agile are now highly coupled.
During last week’s two-day class, we ran 25 short workshops during which students wrote a blog, the web app developer’s rite of passage.
Each workshop was completed by pair programming. It was amazing to witness the buzz that filled our office as students talked through solutions with each together.
We also organized our office so the lectures were delivered to the group, seated in a circle, facing away from the pairing stations.
No checking email or other distractions. Lots of questions & discussions as we progressed.
In Beginning Rails, we teach Ruby and Rails through Test-Driven Development. When students write their blog, every line of code is written test-first.
In Advanced Rails, we teach refactoring to Rails best practices patterns. We pick up where we left off in the Beginning Rails class. We test-drive new features to the blog, integrating version control with git and continuous integration into the development cycle.
For both classes, we send students on their way with the full source code to Umbrella Today? for reference.
We have arrived at the logical conclusion that we teach best at our office. Therefore, we’re pleased to announce classes once at month at our Boston office:
If you can’t make it to our Boston office, we’ll go to your office. We just ask that you set up a similar pair programming environment.
For our Beginning Ruby on Rails training course in Boston, January 29-30, all attendees will be:
Have you ever tried to teach Rails to a friend? You want them to feel web development with Rails.
However, consider the following issues:
I believe Heroku elegantly solves these problems. Get your friends excited about Rails development without boring or confusing them with ancillary information.
Matt Knox of Sermo has been teaching Rails to other members of Boston.rb using Heroku. This is really a great idea so we’re stealing it.
On the My Apps page, click the “Create new app” button. You’ll see the following:
Your Rails app is immediately up and running on Heroku, which runs on top of Amazon Web Services. It displays the default Rails public page with modified instructions.
Clicking on the “import a tarball” link displays:
Save this Suspenders tarball:
Now import it into Heroku using the form.
After importing, you’ll see your app’s view again.
Now click on the “Edit your app” link. An in-browser text editor displays:
You can see Suspenders is now installed, giving us access to the latest Shoulda, Factory Girl, rake tasks, Hoptoad Notifier, and much, much more.
That’s it! We’ve got “Heroku wearing Suspenders”, an excellent, standardized environment to teach Rails wherein students can learn the important stuff first, such as actual Test Driven Development with Rails, instead of fiddling with their OS, gems, or text editor.
We’re pleased to continue offering Ruby on Rails training in Boston. The next two classes have been scheduled:
Umbrella Today? is used as a case study for all courses, for which attendees get access to the full source.
January 29th-30th, 2009
This course is meant for programmers with a background in PHP, Java, or .NET. The course includes a section on “enough Ruby programming to understand Rails”. We’re opinionated about Test Driven Development as a critical part of Rails development, and are integrating TDD lessons into the course.
Sign up now!
February 13th, 2009
This course is meant for intermediate Rails developers who have done testing with Ruby or the xUnit family (JUnit, NUnit). It is focused on Rails best practices and applying refactoring and other skills.
Sign up now!
“After the training session my code style is so fresh, Vogue wants to publish my tests.” – Greg Sterndale
“If you’re a freelance developer you owe it to your clients to come and learn Rails development & delivery from the team at Thoughtbot.” – Mike Breen
“Now it feels like I’m looking at the world through test-tinted glasses!” – Josh Nichols
The Voices that Matter Professional Ruby Conference is this upcoming week in Boston. I’m excited to share our fair city with all of those attending. To make your stay more pleasant, I’ve assembled a little guide.
It is meant explicitly for Rubyists visiting town this week, November 2008. If anyone has other Boston tips, please add them to the comments.
The subway system is called “the T”, and has colored lines. The Green Line from Kenmore to Haymarket is the section of the subway system that you most care about for the part of Boston the conference is being held. If you want to go down to MIT, Central Square, or Harvard Square in Cambridge, take the #1 bus from Massachusetts Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.
The conference is at the Sheraton Boston (Google Map), which is attached to the Prudential. The Prudential building is the second-tallest in Boston and has a large, upscale mall that connects Huntington Avenue and Boylston Street, two main thoroughfares in Boston. It has a Starbucks, bunch of clothing stores, a Barnes & Noble, and a few chain restaurants (try the clam chowder at Legal Seafoods).
The indoor maze is nice bonus if the weather’s not up to Florida/Texas/California standards. There’s a skyway that connects the Prudential to Copley, a larger, more upscale mall. Less important than knowing where the shopping is, however, is knowing this cut-through when you’re trying to find food:
These are all walkable from the hotel. Cut through Copley. You’ll end up outside, facing the Back Bay station (Orange Line). Make a right onto Dartmouth Street, walk about five short blocks and you’ll be at Tremont. Most of these restaurants are to your left on Tremont.
This is for the adventurous, unafraid to leave the bounds of the hotel, especially for a great dinner. The North End is Boston’s Italian neighborhood. The food over here is amazing. It’s not right next to the hotel but it’s worth the $1.25 on the Green Line to Haymarket or a ~$10 cab ride.
You can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in this neighborhood.
Okay, the important stuff. There’s about a dozen good bars within three blocks of the hotel. Mostly on the 900 block of Boylston Street and on Dalton itself (the address of the Sheraton).
This place is huge with tons of activities.
Bowling, tons of pool tables and three bars. Big Buck Hunter, Golden Tee, Ms. Pacman, and Centipede.
On tap: Harpoon IPA, Sam Admas Octoberfest. Good pitcher specials.
Where: Dalton Street, closest bar to the Sheraton. (Yelp)
This place is named after a local writer. It’s got a Bohemian feel, is tiny (capacity under 50), and is known for having some of the best beer selection in town.
On the stereo: folk and country music, John Prine, Bob Dylan.
Booze: Green Flash, Leatherlips IPA (local), Stone Ruination, Ipswich IPA and Oatmeal Stout (local), Harpoon (local), Dogfish 90, Allagash Tripel, Victory Hop Devil, Great Divide Yeti and about 100 others…
Where: Dalton Street, tucked in between a parking garage and the Mass Turnpike… seriously. (Yelp)
This place is classy. Dark wood, fans look like they belong in the Bahamas.
On tap: Guinness, UFO.
On the stereo: Van Morrison.
Where: Boylston street, next to the firehouse. Corner of Boylston and Dalton. (Yelp)
This place is a baseball bar. Very Boston. Irish bartenders, Irish food, Irish beer. Owned by Dropkick Murphys. Waitress says they’re “bad ass guys” and “come in here all the time.” Filled with superstition and Red Sox folklore. “McGreevey’s 3rd Base is the last stop before home.”
On tap: Red Hook Long Hammer.
Where: Boylston Street. (Yelp)
Warm. TGI Friday’s feel (a.k.a. lots of crazy crap on the walls). Lot of musicians from Berklee hang out there. Huge beers of the Bud/Miller/Coors variety.
On the stereo: Runaround Sue.
Where: Boylston Street. (Yelp)
On Wednesday night of the conference, head to the second floor of Lir from 9pm-midnight. We’re holding the room for Rubyists only. Go up the spiral staircase to the room with all the bookcases…
Where: Boylston Street. (Yelp)
If you’re more of the college persuasion, or enjoy Southern-style barbecue chicken and ribs, try Whiskey’s. If you want to try to catch a Red Sox player cheating on his wife with a Northeastern student, go to Daisy Buchanan’s. If you want a breathtaking view of the city, hit the Top of the Hub, which sits on like the 842nd floor of the Prudential. It’s a very expensive dinner (one of the nicest restaurants in Boston), but you can sit at the bar and get a drink and a snack for under $20 while reflecting on the Siege of Boston… at least that’s what I do.
We hope your enjoy your stay in the Hub of the Universe.