Developing A Better Curriculum for Learning Rails

Hey all,

I am working with a couple others from the community to attempt to
develop a better curriculum for Ruby on Rails training, assuming that
beginners have little to no experience with Rails nor Ruby. Of
particular importance is the value of different pieces. If you look at
learners who are on time constraints - we (codestreak.com) are curious
to see how the community prioritizes the following secondary
technologies:

Javascript
RSpec and other testing frameworks
Git and Versioning Control
Deployment (Heroku, etc)
Haml

We are interested in knowing the importance the community puts on these
skills for Rails developers. I won't call out any of the above
technologies, but we know some are not necessary for proficiency and
others are critical. But we are very curious to the community input.

Thanks

Kevin
kevin (at) codestreak (dot) com

Hi Kevin,

If you dont mind, let me give you some perspective from the other side
of the coin ... a students perspective.

I am in my mid sixties and from an accounting background with
experience in writing vba for Microsoft Excel and Access. In fact I
have an Excel working model as well as an Access working model of the
application that I would like to develop as a web application.

Then I had this crazy idea to learn ruby on rails because there were
no jobs, and I had an idea for some web applications with an
accounting bias.

So ... the first question for me was what was the best framework to
learn to use ... that was soon resolved and I settled on Ruby on
Rails.

Next, I searched and bought one rails tutorial after the other and
gradually taught myself the rudimentaries of rails .... so much so
that I have a functional nested form .... but.

Yip ... BUT ... I know find myself at a complete standstill and I have
been so for the last 5 months or so ... I just cannot get past the bit
of 'adding extra attributes to my Nested Form'.

Now ... I know the temptation would be to say, well there are lots of
examples online, from Ryan Bates' railscasts to many other articles on
Stackoverflow.

The difference is that my nested form is non-standard and none of
those examples apply to my situation.

So... what did I do ... I cast around to see where my self eduacation
was the weakest and realized that I did not really have a grounding in
Ajax, Javascript and Jquery. The functionality I am looking for all
seems to need some understanding of all of these technologies, to use
your term.

For instance to have the functionality of 'adding extra attributes' to
my nested form I am going to have to write javascript and jquery code
to handle that functionality it seems from the standard solutions one
sees on the web.

If I do not want to use 'twitter bootstrap' and instead have my own
nav bar with drop down menu's, it again looks like I will need
javascript and or jquery to handle this ... I could be wrong ... but
you can see I am not well grounded in programming to be able to day
definitively what it is I would need to write the code to give me the
functionality that I just mentioned.

Well, this old bushman is now searching the web to find tutorial in
javascript, and jquery to see if they will get me out of the doldrums.

I also posted a job on "Odesk, Elance and Freelance" in the hope that
I would find a professional to take on this task ... all of the bids I
got on my posting were evasive as to how they would solve this issue,
even though they had all the code necessary to make an informed
decision as to a solution. When pressed I found most were going to use
the 'simple form' gem ... if they had read my job posting closely they
would have seen that the standard forms would not get them to the non-
standard form I need ... besides I did not ask for a re-design of my
functioning nested form but rather the functionality I pointed out
earlier in this article.

So ... I hope this perspective will give you some insights to a whole
group of self taught aspiring developers and maybe you could market
some of your courses to this small subset and give us some roundedness
in our self education so that we can tackle issues of the nature that
I touched on.

Thanks.