Sententiae viri ex temporibus duobus

Big Nerd Ranch: RoR Camp: Day 4: The Reprieve

Day Four: It’s a good day.

The reason day 4 is a good day is because you’re out of “how rich is this language and how many other key concepts must I learn to be functionally literate” phase. You see, you’ve covered the dead basics on the first day. Day two is a real challenge because you’re learning the bits of the language that are advanced and that you will need to know to really be able to work “out of the middle section of the book”: the part where it moves from introductiory to non-trivial.

Day three is the hardest, as I’ve detailed in great detail previously.

But day four is where the new and core material starts giving way to specialized topics: how to handle mail, how to build a test, how to provide web services. All of these build on the hard work you did on the first 2.5 days so you no longer get that feeling of “Oh hell, am I slipping too far behind?”.

Everyone in class seems to be a bit more spirited. The hardest part of our personal / night projects have been dealt with and everyone has that sense of “hey, you know, I might be able to do this on my own.” It' the beginning of a very hopeful swing that continues into day 5.

Day 5 is the final bit of the “topics” specialized areas ( but not, not core language ), you learn to maximize particular aspects and you’re going home in just a few hours. It’s great to be at the Ranch, and you learn a lot, but just like all journeys it’s so good to go back home.

Once home you’ll reflect on the great experience you had and you’ll shake off the experience and re-integrate yourself into reality. But it’s so much fun, you can’t wait to get back to that mindset again.

Today was beautiful, but still cold. During our travels today we visited Callaway Gardens' butterfly preserve. After walking through 40-degree weather it was quite a change of pace to enter the balmy 80-degree chamber in which the beautiful leipidopterans inhabit.

I’m still amazed by the versatility of the teacher, Charles B. Quinn. I mean, being able to take 30000.times{‘question after’} without snapping (verbally or mentally ) is really an excellent demonstration of guru-dom. I can only aspire to know some thing as well as the C. knows Rails, or as well as Aaron knows Cocoa (my previous BNR class).

Really I need a few days away from Rails, but I know that within the next week I’m going to start scratching in my notebook, imagining how I can turn BNR education into applications that amuse, entertain, and possibly do Something Great.