Does the world need another photo sharing app? Definitely not. However, in my continuing journey to teach myself how to code I recently decided that I wanted to learn how to build web apps. I settled on learning Rails because it seemed to offer the quickest path to getting up and running.
Since I read Mattan’s Growth Hacking blog GrowHack.com regularly, and enjoy his story about how he taught himself Rails in a month and went on to win a hackathon, I gave it a shot.
From past experience I have found that the most effective way for me to learn something is to just go out and do it. This applies to coding more than anything else. I have taken college classes in the past and tried to work through books or courses that spend 50 pages teaching you every HTML element. This does not work for me, or I would assume most people. It’s boring and not very practical.
That’s why I enjoy Mattan’s approach to coding and teaching. It’s also why I recommend Treehouse. Both resources emphasize learning by executing and building a project. One Month Rails focuses on creating a basic, functioning Pinterest style app, while the Treehouse Rails tutorials teach you how to build a simple version of Twitter.
I completed the One Month Rails course a few weeks ago, and my app is live and fully functioning. It’s hosted on Heroku and I configured it to upload images with Paperclip and save the files using Amazon S3. You can actually sign-up for an account, upload pictures and view photos from other users (me).
This app probably won’t sell to Facebook for $1 Billion, but hopefully the next one I build has a shot.