Railsbridge: A Really ****ing Cool Way to Learn Ruby on Rails

I’m convinced that literally anything you could possibly want can be found in LA. I’m convinced.

(This is of course operating under the assumption that “anything” does not include functional public transit.)

Really, though, I’m primarily talking tech. You want to found a startup? Do it in LA. You want to learn a new skill? Do it in LA. You want to meet up with a bunch of awesome like-minded strangers who think your interests are so cool that they’re willing to sit in an hour of traffic to do it with you? DO IT IN LA.

I just got back from a FREE 6-hour workshop on Ruby on Rails, hosted by Tiffany Davis, Carbon Five, and Railsbridge. Student skill level ranged from total n00bs to lead developers. (I fall somewhere in between, but found myself in Boram’s advanced class for having a pseudo-working knowledge of OOP.)

Before I moved to LA, I had a tough time finding people who wanted to spend their free time learning–especially about programming. Here, I feel I can’t throw a stone without smashing some poor, friendly nerd in the face. (Hence why I have sworn to give up stone-throwing for good.) But really, there are awesome, motivated people all over this city. They are out there, they are building amazing things, and they are opening these innovations up to all of us.

The workshop I attended today was a product of Railsbridge. The amazing folks behind Railsbridge have put together a guide and curriculum for you–be you an organizer, teacher, or student–to allow you to enable yourself and those around you to learn Ruby on Rails. I’ve taken a few stabs at learning RoR, but was never successful enough to get to a point where I could code anywhere near the speed of my excitement. This (and the pain of setting up a new dev environment) always led me to fall back onto one of my stronger languages, leaving Ruby and Rails behind. In the workshop, we worked through the painful parts of getting started together, under the leadership of professional developers. After that, we worked through what commands are most useful, some best practices on source control, how to write a basic webpage with database integration, and how to toss it all easily onto the web. (For the last part, we used Heroku, which worked fantastically for our “just-make-it-work” needs.)

Long story short, I had a blast. I can’t wait to get to Crashspace and start coding! (Speaking of Crashspace, maybe we’ll host a Railsbridge event of our own! Hit me up on twitter if you’d be interested!)