Aston J

Posts Tagged ‘rails’

Intro to Git – 5 mins to see why it’s awesome

Posted on: June 9th, 2012 by AstonJ No Comments

This is more a handy reference for myself, but it also acts as a very quick intro to why git is awesome and well worth using. The main difference here is I remind you what the state of your working directory is as you make changes (as this was what confused me previously – as I wasn’t quite sure what was going on). I assume you’ve installed git already – and know what it is.

Rails Migrations – how I’m using them

Posted on: April 7th, 2012 by AstonJ 3 Comments

I’m fairly certain I am using them a little unconventionally, and just wondered – am I alone? Before going on I will add that I’m able to use them this way because a) the app is still in development, and b) I am the only developer.

Stop knocking Rails – it’s easy to learn!

Posted on: April 5th, 2012 by AstonJ 9 Comments

It seems fashionable to knock Rails as beginner unfriendly these days, but I think that’s wholly unfair – because I found Rails *much* easier to learn, and a better option for web development than most (if not all) of the other ‘options’ (some I tried, some I researched and rejected). Easier because Rails is written in a more natural, easier to understand language, and better because Rails teaches you a tremendous amount of best practises that would otherwise take you a lifetime to learn. It also saves you from wasting weeks or months agonising over which technologies to use or methodologies to follow – that in itself is priceless, and that is a large part of why it is so appealing to (and a good bet for) us n00bs.

Almost anyone can learn almost anything, if you just go about it the right way. Let’s explore that here from the perspective of learning Rails.

First up.

What is a beginner?

A person just starting to learn a skill or take part in an activity.


Rails mass assignment security

Posted on: March 6th, 2012 by AstonJ 5 Comments

While Rails does a lot to secure your app, some things it leaves to you (as one size doesn’t fit all) and mass assignment security (MAS) is one such example. Rails does of course, make it easy for you to bolt things up, here’s how.

When will you need MAS?

Whenever you are accepting data from users, such as from a form via a params[:hash] and using update_attributes (and family) eg:

Advanced Ruby & Rails books

Posted on: December 3rd, 2011 by AstonJ 1 Comment

This is the sequel to my Best way to learn Ruby & Rails post, if you’re new (or fairly new) to Ruby or Rails, read that first. In this post we look at books that help to get you from intermediate level to pro, although you’ll have to bear with me as this is currently my own journey too – and so this post will probably get edited, re-edited often (mainly to change the order of books).

The Pragmatic Bookshelf – my favourite tech publisher

Posted on: November 29th, 2011 by AstonJ No Comments

Having purchased quite a few programming books from various publishers recently, one has quickly become a firm favourite; The Pragmatic Bookshelf (AKA The Pragmatic Programmers.)

Setting up a Ruby dev enviroment on Lion

Posted on: November 24th, 2011 by AstonJ 3 Comments

This post is part of my series on Clean Lion install for Ruby Development.

Next we’ll set up our fresh dev enviroment for Ruby. Here we’ll cover installing and setting up:

  • GCC (or Xcode)
  • Homebrew
  • Xcode
  • Rbenv or RVM
  • Ruby 2.1.3
  • Rubygems
  • Rails
  • POW – Optional
  • MySQL & Unix set-up


Clean Lion install for Ruby Development

Posted on: November 24th, 2011 by AstonJ No Comments

I know there’s a few of these posts around, but I wanted to do one purely for my own notes if nothing else. Particularly as I will be setting things up a little differently (partly because I have just installed a SSD and will be using more than one drive and…) because some of the other posts are already out of date, especially since the latest update of Xcode which does not come with GCC. You are welcome to follow this guide, but remember you do so at your own risk.

(Pretty much works for Mountain lion too.)

Best way to learn Ruby & Rails

Posted on: October 9th, 2011 by AstonJ 63 Comments

That’s no typo, I really did mean Ruby and Rails – but before you run off (those looking to learn only Rails) read on… I started off wanting to learn just Rails too, but I quickly realised two things:

  • Rails will only get you so far – to be anything close to a Rails ninja, you need to learn Ruby (Rails is Ruby underneath it all). While Rails goes out of its way to simplify a lot, once you begin to do more complex stuff you’re going to need to know Ruby – and because Ruby is so easy to pick up anyway it makes sense to learn it from the outset. It will not only save you time in the long run, but will also help you learn Rails as well, because you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on.
  • Even if you came for Rails, most likely you will stay for Ruby – like so many of us! The more you’re exposed to Ruby the more you’ll want to learn it. Ruby is an awesome all-purpose language with a multitude of uses (it’s not just for web apps!) so is well worth adding to your repertoire. Trust me, it will quickly become your favourite language, but if you still need convincing, check out this post.


Why RailsCasts deserves to be a success

Posted on: October 5th, 2011 by AstonJ 4 Comments

….and why it will be. has been going almost as long as Rails itself – and it’s always been free. Ryan’s produced almost 300 quality screencasts, and if you average them out to 10 minutes each, that’s about 50 hours of footage!