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If you know me, you know my philosophy on the web is all about learning as much as possible in order to fully complete anything I am working on…that means concept, design, development, programming and promotion. Although most of my peers scoff at the notion of working to learn all these disciplines, I have my own reasons for wanting to achieve that goal. I have done well in all respects so far with programming as the only exception. Damn programming. I can do some PHP. I can write a function if I am forced to. But I have never really had my hands dirty. Interesting enough, though, I want to…I mean I REALLY want to learn as much as I can about programming. The problem was, whenever I ventured deeper into PHP, I looked at so many things built in rails and all the things rails can do and do quickly, I get excited…like I have been driving a ford and keep seeing a Ferrari.
So a few months ago I started looking into online tutorials on rails and for the most part was able to follow them and produce a working blog or url shortener…but nothing of my own. I was never able to really grasp the language and philosophical concepts though. So I took a break from it. In that break I came up with tons of ideas for things I would love to build…things that would take time, money, effort and most of all a deep working knowledge of whichever programming language I would use. And while, like many people, I have gone back and forth on the notion of PHP or Rails, I have decided, without confusion, that I am going to learn and build in rails.
I chose rails because of it’s fast deployment and the language seems a bit more intuitive. While true or not, when I think of rails vs PHP, it makes me think of a PC vs a MAC. Functionally, they do the same thing…both are capable of accomplishing just about anything, but it all comes down to the user experience and intuitiveness. In my short time working with both languages, I am convinced that Ruby on Rails is the MAC of programming languages.
So, this article will be the first in a series that follows me through my process of learning and developing in rails and eventually building a functional application that I will deploy. I have set aside two days a week to learn and become better. I have my Lynda and Treehouse accounts, my Rails for Zombies site, my Elegant Ruby paperback edition, but most importantly I have some good friends who are always willing to help.
Next week, I will post a new update of my progress.