The Iron Yard – Week 1

We’ve made it though Week 1 at The Iron Yard’s Ruby on Rails back end engineering bootcamp!

In the past week I’ve learned about as much as I did during 4 months of slogging through online tutorials on my own.

We’ve covered most of Ruby’s basic object class types, data structures, and how to use methods to package up the individual components of a program. (A seasoned rubyist warned me to avoid talking about ‘functions’ since there are technically only methods in an object oriented languages . I look forward to better understanding this distinction.)

James Dabbs, our instructor, is a quick-witted, fast-talking mathematician who clearly has a passion for teaching. After lecture in the morning, we’re encouraged to collaborate with our peers to solve homework projects, like making (command line) versions of Tic Tac Toe and Hangman . It’s amazing how far you can get working with a small group of novices from diverse professional/educational backgrounds. The TAs, recent TIY alums, have also been extremely helpful and encouraging.

I also attended a Triangle Ruby Brigade meetup which was daunting since everyone in the room who wasn’t an Iron Yard student was a mid to senior level developer. I had heard that the Ruby community has a reputation for being particularly accommodating to beginners, but I was truly humbled when we each got to pair off with one of the more experienced developers and work on exercises for almost two hours. I love that mentorship is so highly valued in this community and look forward to the day when I can give back.

I’m excited for the course to continue to ramp up the intensity, but admittedly I have been grateful to enjoy a small amount of free time this week. I just moved to Durham from New Haven, CT and am floored by the amount of cool stuff going on.

The Tobacco Underground Campus, where TIY is located, is itself a teeming hub of startups, restaurants, and other businesses. The renovated tobacco mill is a pleasure to explore (I recently stumbled upon Burt’s Bees very own bee hive) and a fertile place for young developers and entrepreneurs.

I have so much more to say about this first action-packed week, but I’ve got to run and catch a MoogFest demonstration of the free ruby-based code music making software Sonic Pi! Can’t wait to hear what my newfound ruby loops sound like =D.

See you next week for a Week 2 recap!



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