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A Blast From the Past

Every 4-5 months I receive an email from someone who has come across an old forum post called HOWTO: Beginning Relationships that I wrote in 2006.

It’s fun to go back and look at that early code. It was aimed at being an absolute beginners guide to starting a Ruby on Rails project. The images are no longer available and I would be hard-pressed to find them in my digital archives, but the content is intact.

Most of the time the questions are the result of differences between Rails 3 and what I am guessing to be Rails 1.x. When I wrote that tutorial the through: option had just been added! However, What always surprises me is there seems to be a decent number of people who are not grasping the most basic concepts, despite the availability of great books1

I’ve been considering re-writing this tutorial to reflect the changes in Rails 3.2.x but tend to stop when I look at the landscape of great beginner resources, the least of which are the well written Ruby on Rails Guides2. It seems, though, that maybe some dead simple beginning tutorials might be helpful for people looking for the concepts rather than the full techniques. This is what Code School3 is great at, but for quick reference it is difficult to hunt through their slides and not everyone will pay for access.

I am regularly training brand new developers, typically students with little to no previous experience in any web development. I plan take with some of our initial conversations related to setup, design, and implementation and turn them into short tutorials. I think I’ll start with a refresh of that 6 and a half year old(!) tutorial on basic relationships.