Rails underestimated…

I have been a self employed contracted Ruby on Rails developer for a couple of weeks now.  I cannot thank @rebelhold and @m3talsmith enough for this opportunity.  Leaving the big bad corporate world is scary as Hell, but it is a lot easier when you have others to help you.

Hiring myself as my boss was quite a change in life for me.  I have NEVER been without a JOB.  This is the first time that I have ever been ‘self-employed’.  I have to say that at least now I am fully responsible for my success or failure.  I am also only limited to what I “want” to do.  If I want a “raise” then I will have to work more.  For the first time, I control my own destiny!

So enough of that….  I thought that I was ready to enter the world of Rails development and I had studied and practiced Rails as well as working on tutorials and creating my own app.  Wow, I really underestimated Rails entirely.  Oh Rails is Rails but I never expected to need to use so much Ruby and Javascript.  I had a pretty well know Rails dev tell me that he wasn’t very good at Ruby.  That was a crock of shit!!  I thought that Rails was mostly html.  Man was I wrong.

In order to be a good Rails dev, you need to know Ruby and I mean really know Ruby.  If you think that you can get by with just “basic” Ruby knowledge, then you are ok if you want to create “basic” Rails apps.  If you don’t mind having a “basic” Rails app, well then never mind learning Javascript or jQuery.  If you just want to be a “programmer” and not a “developer” then you do not need to learn Ruby and JS.

Two weeks on the project that I am on and I would say that about 50% of what I have been using is Javascript and about 24% .sass.  That leaves only 25% and most of that has been Ruby.  And I thought that I knew enough Rails.

Again, I have to thank @m3talsmith, @fzf and @rebelhold for teaching me and helping me learn while coding.  It is RebelHold’s philosophy to help others to learn Ruby on Rails and do to so without charging to teach.  If you have read any of my other posts you will know that I am pretty anti paying to learn RoR or charging for doing so.  I think that open source is or should be a community that works and learns together.  If you have read any of my posts you know that I am so impressed with the Rails community and the fact that most Rubyists or Rails devs are always willing to assist others.  The @rubyaz group in the Phoenix area is a very strong and tight community with monthly meetings offering ANYBODY to present on Ruby related topics.  If you live in the valley you definitely need to check them out.

Rails underestimated….. Yes I really did underestimate Rails and I see that I have soooo much more to learn.  That being said, every day I learn a little more and every day I am one more day out of the corporate world.


3 comments on “Rails underestimated…

  1. Bob

    Thanks for posting about your transition from corporate GIS into a contract rails dev, I am finding this most interesting as I am considering the same myself. Sitting in a very similar position to yourself, a completely self taught programming who has come at it through GIS and then widening the skills to be a developer rather than a scripter, it is interesting to see your point of view and your thoughts, mostly because a lot of what you have said resonates with me.

    I use .NET at work, but RoR at home and the allure of working for myself is becoming more appetising the more I think about it (and read about it ;)).

    Keep up the posts, and I hope for both of our sakes that you find success.

    • James, I think that they say that great minds think alike! It is interesting to hear your very similar situation. I guess it may be like a fever in that once a person experiences programming, it just continues to grow. Keep learning, keep trying, fire your boss and hire yourself!!


  2. Thanks for the inspiration. I am close (within six months) of taking the plunge out of the corporate world and into the world of consulting.

    I would love to know more of how else you made the jump. How you find leads etc.

    Thanks again, it is great to know that there are people out there doing what I want to do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: