New LearningRails.com podcast posted, what topics would be useful to you?

Hi all, Michael Slater and I just posted our second episode of the
"LearningRails.com" podcast intended for new programmers aspiring to
learn and use Rails and for designers who need to work with Rails
developers.

This episode covers what happens when a user enters a URL in their
browser. We compare and contrast a little bit with static and PHP
based sites, then provide a gentle introduction to Rails Controllers,
Models, and Views. We define some Ruby terminology is a very simply
way to present some general concepts (Class, Object, Variable, etc).

For the experienced developers out there, please realize we are
trading precision in our descriptions and terminology in favor of a
simplified introduction that can give more new developers and web
designers a general conceptual model to start with. We intend to peel
away the onion over time and refine our audience's understanding. This
is not a heavy CS presentation by any stretch.

Big question is: What questions do folks encounter the most when new
practitioners quiz you on Ruby and Rails? What about when you work
with designers? Do you find there are topics that you wish the
designer knew a little more about so your collaboration was more
efficient?

We'd love any feedback so we can make this a more useful resource to
all...and hopefully something that experienced developers can use to
point new folks at.

These are a good "few" ideas :slight_smile:

The challenge we are trying to tackle is to find the "obvious in front
of our noses" type stuff that experienced developers tend to take for
granted, but can be a real mystery to a new practitioner. Alistair
Cockburn, the Crystal Agile methodology inventor, has a nice way of
thinking about learning a new skill --Shu, Ha, Ri, or following,
detaching, and fluency. Long story short, think of this as three
levels of mastery. When you are a master, you rarely even have to
think about "how" or "why" you are doing something, you just naturally
do it. When you are an apprentice, or even a journeyman, that kind of
information is critical.

I'll take this list back (and any other feedback...anyone else either
personally have new areas they are interested in or find that they are
fielding too often from new folks?) and see what we can incorporate.

Our next few topics will cover View related items (including some of
the mysteries you mention--partials, forms, etc.) and peeling away
what is happening in Models and how to think about your problem in
terms of OO Modeling.

The plugin topics and general glimpse at other non-toy/sample projects
are good ideas.

Keep listening and let us know if we get closer to the target...that
feedback helps and I'm always happy to answer questions.

-chris