This blog post is now part of the official Rails Girls guides
First of all, thank you all for joining us at the Rails Girls Event in Basel. It was so much fun and I want to thank you all for being super motivated. You are awesome!
So unfortunately (!) the event is already over and I am writing this blog post to help you find the best way to keep going with learning on how to program!
There are 4 steps which I've come up with and I encourage you to really take them to your heart and do them.
Originally this talk was planned for the end of the event but you girls were so focused on coding that we just didn't want to interrupt you. :)
So here it goes:
1. Keep on Coding
Mastering a craft requires constant repeating and perseverance. This also applies to programming. I encourage you to repeat the Rails Girls tutorial which we did at the event and try to play around with it some more.
After that here are some free and paid resources which will help you to take things to the next level:
- Rails for Zombies - A Rails Screencast which was created by Codeschool. Its free and Codeschool provides also a series of paid Ruby and Rails courses which are awesome. You should really try them!
- Rails Tutorial - A awesome book which has a free HTML version and a paid print version. The book provides you with a lot of great material which we couldn't cover at the Rails Girls workshop.
Screencasts & Videos
- Railscasts - Short and simple screencasts about Rails by Ryan Bates.
- Confreaks - Talks from conferences all over the world.
- Peepcode - Paid Screencasts by Geoffrey Grosenbach.
- Richard Schneems Screencast
- Thoughtbot Trail-Map - Guides to different topics.
If you have any other good resources, hit me so I can put them into the list.
2. Build something real
Build something real means you should try to create something which is actually needed in the end. The hardest part will be to find a real project. If you have no idea, try to think of something that really upsets you. Do you have to use something in your daily life that pisses you off? Write an application for it and try to solve that pain. This way you will be more motivated than by just following tutorials.
And don't forget to show your application to your friends and the world. Ask for feedback and keep on learning.
If you still have trouble finding something you can work on I have an idea for you: railsgirls.ch.
We could use a new Rails Girls Switzerland website and if you are interested you could fork our repository and build something better and new! :)
3. Get in touch
Its always easier when you have someone you can ask. With this in mind, go out and find someone who you can talk to. Now is the best time for it, because you just got to know a lot of like minded people which have more or less the same level as you. There are a lot of ways to communicate nowadays, e.g. host a local meetup group, use Google Talk, create Facebook Groups or write a good ol' letter :)
From my experience, knowing some people who have the same interests as you is one of the most important parts. Try to convince people, that programming is fun. If you have a brother or a sister, show them what you've learned. Or show it to your parents, children or friends. Just try to build a circle of people with the same interest in programming and technology.
Also try to find something like a mentor. Programming can be really intimidating sometimes, so it can help to know someone which has more experience and can help you with your problems. For example: ask someone of the Coaches who attended at the Event. You find a complete list of them here on Twitter.
If you don't have the time to host your own meetup group, thats ok. There are already a few groups which you can join:
- Ruvetia - Ruvetia is a meetup (or drinkup) where we will come together every now and then and just socialize. This meetup is not about content, its about getting to know the people in the community. Every meetup is in a different city so check out the Ruvetia website from time to time where the next meetup will take place.
- Railshöck - A Rails meetup in Zurich
- Geneva Ruby Brigade - Ruby group based in Geneva
This list is incomplete, so if you know another meetup, contact me and I will add it to the list.
One of the girls at the event (thanks Helena!) had the great idea that we could put up a list with all the attendees, coaches and organizers.
4. Have fun
Last but not least, have fun. If you don't enjoy programming it is probably not the right thing for you. But thats the same story for every profession or hobby. Not only for technology related topics. But if you just read this I think you are perfectly made for programming, otherwise you wouldn't be here in the first place ;)
So, if you liked the workshop and the event - you're in the right spot.
If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask. You can do this via Twitter or via Mail. The Codegestalt Team will be happy to try to help you and answer your questions. Just drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thats it, keep on coding and let's build the future!