First Steps to Learning Ruby

So after four years and half years working towards a B.Comm degree in Management/Marketing I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do, per se. Web development and programming is where my passion lies and I figure it’s better now than never to dive into it for real. I’ve outsourced projects and tinkered with html or xcode but never gained enough knowledge to the point where it was usable.

Besides the fact that I love the idea of being able to hack something together that you can actually click around and see if it holds merit I want to learn how to program because it builds your personal value. I’ve found the reason why a lot of people get stuck in one job is because they move up in a certain company, based on time and implied seniority, but if they wanted to move or switch positions they would be forced to take much less money because it’s hard to value what they’re worth. (I’m mostly talking about managers and sales people) It might be different if a sales person was to keep up a blog about their knowledge during their career or a manager was blogging anonymously about their experiences in a company but that’s usually not the case. With programming or web development your knowledge is apparent in your work and your worth builds as your skills increase. In this scenario a web developer with a specific skill set could move across the country on a whim and find a job easily if he had the portfolio to prove what he can do.

What I’m getting at is there are too many degrees that aren’t jobs .. it’s great to know stuff about business but what business or industry are you actually going to work for and create in? Very few people actually know when they come out of a generic field like I did.

The other reason I’ve decided to dive into Programming sounds cliche but I asked myself what would I do if I could do anything I wanted.. my answer:  build web and mobile based products that millions of people interact with and somehow make their lives better. That brings me here. I feel like teaching or even just organizing my thoughts in writing on a topic is a good way to learn so I decided I will write as I learn. It’s a good way to hold myself accountable to actually making progress.

I decided on Ruby partly because of its cool factor and a general consensus of being one of the easiest programming languages to start with. This isn’t going to be polished writing, it will be following whichever path I decide to tackle the challenge of going from almost no knowledge of programming to being able to code and read Ruby at a workable level.

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