One thing you’d better learn quickly when riding a tandem: how to work as a team. A *lot* of communication is required. Generally, the person in back (the stoker) has no idea what’s coming, so it’s inherent on the person in front to warn about things like bumps in the road (so the stoker can […]

screenshot of an error in my code

The Mystery of the Uninitialized Constant

With error driven development, you see a lot of red and pink on your web site. The trick is to learn how to interpret what the message is trying to tell you. Most of them are pretty clear. If the word “path” appears, you’re probably missing something (or have a typo) in the routes list […]

Undefined Table Error

So, This Just Happened

I wanted to better cement what we learned today by re-doing the day’s coding in a new branch. With a bit of help re: how to not have to nuke my existing database for the evening’s fun, I got it all up and running, and started coding. The methodology we’re using is called “error driven […]

Week 3 Commences!

I can’t believe that, as of Friday, we’ll be 1/4 of the way through this course! I can believe that, if the pace keeps up, we’ll be making some pretty cool [stuff] by the end of it all. Today was the introduction of rails. Some of you know that I started working on a web […]

screen capture of google search results on the words "git commit messages"

Committing to Good Git Commits

The preferred version control system in the ruby world is named “git.” The name doesn’t really have a meaning. Its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, who also happens to be the inventor of the linux operating system, indicates that its meaning is as varied as his mood at the time he’s thinking about it. This week’s Friday […]

A Few Long Days

Between 6:30 Tuesday AM, and 11:30 Wednesday PM, I managed to get about 3 hours sleep, due to a family emergency – thus, no post last night. We’ve started learning the nitty gritty of using ActiveRecord to interact with the database. I went to a Boston Ruby Group event on Tuesday evening, where one of […]


Nope, not your hair, and not that thing they do in Canada, with brooms and a hunk of granite that has a handle screwed onto it. I’ve seen curl in use, but never used it before. Think of it as a browser without the actual browser – you can access URLs with it, and the […]

ILIKE sushi

I don’t actually like sushi. As a matter of fact, it ranks right up there with mushroom quiche on the “food hate” scale. But I find it wicked funny that the case-insensitive SQL command for filtering by a string is ILIKE (the case sensitive version is LIKE). It means you can end up writing a […]

Hung up on Hangman

I started fixing one little bug in the hangman problem for class, ended up rewriting the whole thing, then had a total brain cramp on the way the array iterator works, wasting a ton of time on trying to figure out why a number was incrementing incorrectly. Sigh. Hopefully, I’ll get better at seeing that […]

Rubber Ducking

So, um, this is a thing. If you’re stuck on a coding problem, you can try “rubber ducking” – pretend that you have a rubber duck on your desk, and try to describe to the duck what you’re trying to do, and what’s going wrong. Sometimes, just talking through the problem (even if the conversation […]