05 November 2012

The Story of a Pythonic Hackbrighter and a Ruby on Rails Saturday

To all those who have asked the question "Why is Hackbright teaching Python and what if I want to work for a company that uses Rails?"--I have a good answer for you now.

Ruby on Rails and Python can be friends, see?

Lisa as Ruby on Rails and Sanby as Python and Flask

Since Rails is the first backend language I touched, it has a soft spot in my heart--especially because the Rails community in SF is so giving--I've been to several free workshops and meetups, with experienced, helpful people, and free food. But because of my intensive experience at Hackbright, my knowledge of Python surpassed Rails within a couple of days of the beginning of the program. Thus was I curious about where I would stand with Rails when I went to a RailsBridge workshop last Saturday (for the first time since learning Python). I'd heard that some of the graduates of the first class of Hackbright are now working in Rails or other languages, but I wasn't so sure how easy that would be for me.

To my amazement, I understood so much more of Rails, and even though I was in the advanced class, I finished my app and got all my questions answered within an hour. Knowing that I'd recently seen a link to a new intermediate curriculum in my email, I started working on that one and soon found a mistake in the code. After talking to both the teacher of my class and the woman working on the code for the intermediate curriculum, I was asked to be a beta tester for the new curriculum.

Thus I spent the rest of the afternoon happily discovering new vocabulary and defining it using Pythonic terms. ERB? That's embedded Ruby, or as I called it, "the Ruby version of Jinja."

I now understand better why some programmers look down on Rails for having too much magic--it is very easy to launch an app without knowing what happened in the background. However, I realize three things:

  • We humans want easy ways to do things.
  • Everyone in the world wants multiple websites now, and easy ways to accomplish that are going to flourish.
  • Technology is constantly getting more complex.
  • There are a lot of things that we don't understand exactly how they work and they are nevertheless good tools (like microwaves). 
The intermediate Rails class curriculum is pretty cool (Lillie Chilen is working on it and I hope to meet up with her again this week). The intermediate RailsBridge class opened up today and it's already full with a waiting list. I know that any of my classmates could do just fine with it, considering our Pythonic background, because I didn't realllly understand what I was doing with Rails before anyway. As many programmers have told me, once you learn one language pretty well, you can pick up other ones pretty quickly.

So there you go.  Python and Ruby on Rails can be friends. Or rather, we can be friends with Python and Ruby on Rails. :)

Please, if you have questions about the Hackbright experience, ask me! I cannot stress enough how life-changing this program is!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you have a blog so that I know you're still alive.