So, people that know me realize I have a thing for quotes (see those from RailsConf as well as NFJS local edition). While there weren’t a ton of memorable quips from my recent experience at Pragmatic Studio (see Day 0, Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3) there were a couple that I had to share. Again these are largely paraphrases but I think I’ve captured the gist.
This exchange occurred when I asked Mike how he was “hiding” his Keynote deck while in play mode (i.e., switching back to the desktop without hitting escape):
Mike: “Just hit H – one of the things Dave taught me.”
me: “The list would be long”
Mike: “The things I learned from Dave… ”
Dave: “A through H – that was H.”
After trying app.methods in script console… Mike said:
“Try app.taguri..oh wait, that’s just missing the underscore, should be tag_uri, I thought that was something to do with Sushi, never mind.”
That’s not to say there weren’t other interesting moments during the class …but those were the ones I felt like sharing!
Well, we ended with a bang! The morning started off with an Ajax lab (right up my alley) and I just have to say…Rails makes Ajax about as easy as it gets (hmm, I’m sensing a theme here). I especially like the fact that I can quickly get an app working, add in Ajax, and (with almost zero effort) have a degradable system. Oh, and RJS is just slick though it did make me question my opinions of GWT. Unlike a couple of my coworkers, GWT doesn’t make me swoon – don’t get me wrong, I think it’s neat as all get out I’m just not ready to jump on the bandwagon. But after playing around with RJS I might have to reconsider.
Most of today was a blur – we covered a lot of topics at a mile a minute. I think routes (especially named routes) are extremely cool and considering my new role at work the support for testing is just top notch. I asked a few questions about test infecting organizations and I’ve got some great notes about testing in general. The rest of the day included talk of REST, hooks and filters and caching finishing off with a discussion on deployment.
All in all I was quite happy with the training. A faster pace would have been good, perhaps a few more labs, but there is a limit to what can be covered in three days with a mixed audience. I suspect the Advanced Studio would be fantastic and I’m really thinking a Rails Edge would be useful (perhaps more so than Rails Conf…but that’ll be a tough call). I’m happy to call myself an alumni of the Studio – as expected Mike and Dave are great – if you need Rails training, I’d highly recommend Prag Studio!
As expected, things went up a notch today – we pretty much did labs from dawn till dusk. I wouldn’t say the fire hose was on full bore and there was only one lab that I didn’t manage to finish but we definitely covered some ground. The class is still following AWR pretty closely but I do appreciate the little tips and tricks Mike and Dave share as they walk through the exercises. More impressive is the live coding – I realize I’ll need to do more of this next year on the NFJS tour but it never ceases to amaze me how much Rails does with so little code.
The concepts are definitely starting to sink in and certain aspects are becoming more normal to me. Still, there’s a fair amount of magic..but I feel more prepared (and motivated) to dive into the source. Partials seem like a great idea and the ability to pass a hash of parms into the constructor of an ActiveRecorder subclass is just brilliant. Seriously, so much of this stuff is so easy it just feels like stealing. And all the time I’ve spent building plumbing in Java…sigh. Oh and I’m still getting a kick out of the local weather guys and how they define cold – when I checked the weather back home this morning, it was 0 so these “lows” in the 20s just don’t impress me. Big chill indeed…bone chilling. Yeah.
Tomorrow will be Ajax day plus the future of Rails – should be interesting!
Update: OK, so Joe and I went to get a cup of coffee this morning and I have to admit…with the windchill, it *was* pretty nippy. Not as cold as home but it got my attention.
And it begins! First off, they’ve got the big three: wifi, power, and caffeine, you can tell Mike and Dave have done this before Day one is a half day Ruby tutorial and then what I’d describe as roughly the first seven chapters of AWR. The crowd is a little quiet but all in all some good questions. So far the real value is hearing Dave and Mike pipe in with tips and tricks. No matter how many times I see how fast you can get basic CRUD up with Rails, it never stops impressing me.
All in all, nothing too revolutionary today but I suspect tomorrow (again, this will be posted after the fact!) will really get things started. One thing I have to say – I really like the pace of the South. We’ve eaten out a couple of times now and each time they really stressed “y’all just hang around as long as you like.” I’m starting to understand what Southern hospitality is all about.
I’ve been a big fan of the Prags since I read their first book The Pragmatic Programmer so when they started up the Pragmatic Studio earlier this year I knew I’d have to partake. As soon as I saw the December show in Atlanta, I pulled the trigger! I did contemplate switching to the Twin Cities show – but going to the ATL actually saves me travel time (seriously) and gives me an excuse to hang around with an old friend. The trip down was pretty easy though the woman in the seat next to me clearly was uneasy about flying…and it rubbed off on me. I’ve never been too anxious about flying (I understand the odds) but sure felt like I was channeling some of her emotions.
Let’s see, what else. For the first time ever I took a cab to the airport – that was interesting. I’m used to taking cabs/shuttles once I *arrive* but this was new. My cabbie was a transplant from the Bay area so we discussed the futility that is being a football fan… The flight was uneventful (yeah). I was pretty amazed at how large Atlanta International is (next time I’m going to take the tram) and the hotel is fine – huge though. The weather is “cold” by Georgia standards (I loved the comment this morning on the news: “pipes could freeze and bring in the pets”) but for Joe and I it’s quite pleasant. Heck, back home we’re seeing highs in the single digits – here they complain about getting into the teens…for the morning low. Yeah. Tomorrow (well this will be in the past by the time I post) should be great – I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in Rails for three days!