Good day! I am also a freshly green rails developer, but I didn't find it difficult to learn how migrations work. script/generate migration (and script/generate model does that automatically), write a create table with more concise and beautiful Ruby syntax rather than clumsy SQL (Okay, GUI is faster but I have to launch another app while here I can do everything from TextMate), rake migrate — and there's no step three! Remember, you have to spend extra time on how migration works and how to roll back to a previous version, etc. only once, and then you can easily use it! The same with unit testing — one can probably write simple Rails applications without unit tests more quickly, but when the tasks grow in size and complexity, you'll certainly gain benefit if you have learnt to write test cases.
Yours sincerely, Damian/Three-eyed Fish