It’s a difficult question to answer comprehensively and succinctly in that moment. The answer may also vary with the relative skill of the person asking.
Writing a book is a long process. I can say that now because my first book, Rails 4 in Action, has just been published via Manning Publications. I learnt a lot from the book writing process, and I'd like to share some of those lessons with you.
This was a big one for me. I've been involved in writing Ruby on Rails applications professionally for four years now, and as a hobbyist for a year before that. My co-author, Ryan Bigg (who also worked for reinteractive, back when it was known as RubyX!), has been involved in writing them for a lot longer than that. Writing a book that starts from the basics? Should be easy, right?
While growing reinteractive I have been asked many times how we operate. I've been asked this by prospective clients and by prospective staff. I thought it would make sense to write up a blog post covering the key points on how our developers and team work at reinteractive and what parts of our development process are important to us.
Having our entire team work remotely is a strong management point for us. Our remote team encourages focused work without the large distractions of an office environment. Of course, this means that you can't shout a question across the office, or go and interrupt another team member, we see this as a good thing. However, team communication matters so we have numerous Flowdock channels to communicate on each project. This has the added advantage of information being recorded, allowing for any team member to "get up to speed" on what is happening after a short absence by reading the log of what has been said.
Some of you might know that reinteractive is going to be presenting RailsConfAU this year in Sydney, Australia. It's Australia's first Rails Conference and we already have some big names lined up to speak.
But today, I was in our company chat room and we were talking about another conference, one that a member of our team had seen a promotion for, where it appeared that all 28 speakers were men. In discussing this we were trying to come up with ideas to make sure that RailsConfAU had a wide range of speaker backgrounds to encourage more diversity in our industry.
Over the past year and a half, our InstallFest initiative has introduced more than 600 developers to Ruby on Rails. These developers have been able to move onto Development Hub, but we feel there is a gap. If you look at the job boards, there are a lot of opportunities for mid to senior level Rails developers, but a scarcity of junior level positions.
This presents a problem, how do we take these awesome beginning developers and build them into mid to senior level develops to grow our community? And how to do this efficiently?
We’re excited to once again be a sponsor of the next Rails Girls Sydney event coming up in July!
Rails Girls is a free two-day workshop that gives women the chance to dive into the magical world of Ruby on Rails in a safe and approachable environment.
Last week our team were lucky enough to attend the second Ruby Conference held in Australia. As a new comer to the Community over the last year and as the Community Manager here at reInteractive, I thought I’d share my take on what I got out of last week’s talks and events.
Felix talked about how helping others learn will actually help you improve your own code. You don’t truly understand something until you can explain it simply and clearly to others. This is very true and something I think all professional developers and new developers alike can take from this. Go out and pair with others, your knowledge will grow exponentially just from talking about concepts with others.
Today we stepped out of our usual workspace, put our emails aside and headed to the first ever Rails Girls Next. Ildiko Balla and I continued our Rails journey and our awesome Developer Geoff Hodgson was there to help out and mentor.
We started the day with our first tutorial on Sinatra to get a better understanding about how the web works. Then on we went to do a test driven development exercise and learned to write tests for our code. Last, but not least we programmed our very own Ruby ATM and discovered more of Ruby’s features and syntax.
Last weekend, Ready Set Startup and Swinburne University hosted a RailsGirls event in Melbourne, and I had the privilege of attending as a coach to meet and mentor some amazing new people, both with and without prior programming experience. The event was split over two days, the Friday evening and Saturday, with the idea being that Friday would be spent getting everyone set up with Ruby, Rails, Git, etc. so we could get right into it on Saturday morning.
Friday evening kicked off with the coaches trying to free electric power boards from their plastic packaging with their bare hands and a small screw, while the attendees got to know each other and started setting their laptops up. All the required software (RailsInstaller, Sublime Text and the Heroku Toolbelt) had all been thoughtfully prepared on special RailsGirls-branded USB sticks. We did have some issues with the supplied version of RailsInstaller and those on OS X 10.9 Mavericks, however, but for the most part the installation party was pretty smooth sailing.
This weekend our team joined hundreds of others across Sydney, Melbourne and Perth at the RailsGirls workshops across Australia.
Our awesome Developers Leonard Garvey and Geoff Hodgson in Sydney, Glen Crawford in Melbourne and Aaron Beckerman in Perth gave their time to help out as mentors at this great initiative.