Posts Tagged ‘rails’
I recently finished reading & working through the example code for Eldon Alameda’s Foundation Rails 2 book. As someone who has been struggling to learn Rails for the past few years, Eldon’s approach of teaching the fundamentals before diving into building an app was very helpful. This may not apply to everyone but I was always frustrated with the previous books & tutorials where the application building was done before explaining how the plumbing works.
Another good thing about the book is that Eldon talks about how a particular feature in rails has evolved over the years as well as explains the reasoning behind the changes. He also introduces related topics such as RESTful Architecture as an aside without going too far off topic. The fact that we play around with the console immediately is also helpful.
One of the thing that I really enjoyed is how Eldon would give a basic solution to a give problem and walk us through refactoring that piece and turning it into a more elegant code. This is great not only because it teaches us how to go about refactoring our code but also makes sure that the reader first understands the solution in a simple version that is easier to understand before introducing Ruby syntactic sugar & rails magic. I love the fact that Eldon introduces the idea of TDD in the book because it is definitely a good habit to develop and a requirement to be a successful Rails developer.
Eldon also does a really good job of introducing the readers to plugins as well. Rails is known for the extensibility and there are a lot of plugins out there that give us additional functionality. By showing us how to develop applications using plugins, he gives us an idea of what are the kinds of things to consider when using plugins as well as customizing it to fit your needs. All in all, it is a great introductory book for Rails and I highly recommend it to any beginners who are trying to learn Rails.