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Why We Love Teaching Ruby on Rails

Why We Love Teaching Ruby on Rails

Written by Jocelyn Caster on 12th January 2017, 5:43 PM

Wyncode is definitely on Team Ruby on Rails, and we love teaching it to beginners.

Starting at the beginning, you are considering looking for another job or even switching careers. You love designing, have a can-do attitude, an inclination toward problem solving, and have been interested in computers since as long as you can remember. It sounds like web development might be right for you!

However, there are so many coding languages out there. Where should you start focusing your learning efforts when becoming a full-time web developer is your goal? It can be extremely intimidating deciding which language to throw yourself into learning as a beginner, knowing how difficult and time-consuming these efforts will be.

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The staff at Wyncode is constantly getting questions about the usefulness and efficacy of one language over another. For example, Google was built using Javascript but many newly popular sites such as Venmo and Instagram were written in Python. Which should I choose? How do I know which language top employers will be asking for in a year? iOS is so hard to learn, but it might enable me to work in specific niches I am interested in.

These are all valid concerns! How do you choose?

Here at Wyncode, we are big believers in starting our students out in Ruby on Rails (RoR) as beginners. At the onset of our company, MIT grad and Head Instructor Ed Toro decided that he knew Ruby was the language to build our program around in order to produce successful graduates equipped for a changing job market.

So, what makes Ruby on Rails so special?

We asked some of our most successful alumni to talk about it. Among their answers, a few themes emerged:

 

1) RoR is easy to learn.

This language has an unusual ease of use for the programming world. This makes it the perfect introductory language for beginners. However, many old-timers continue to enjoy writing the language for the same, straight-forward reason! Ricardo Morales, Mobile Support Engineer at the Miami Heat, said that his favorite part about learning Ruby at Wyncode was “simplicity and the syntax. It was by far the easiest language to learn, which was great for it being my first one.”

Jon Rose, a Software Engineer at CareCloud, talked about how even as a beginner there are already methods available for you to do a variety of tasks. Getting started with object-oriented programming is really easy with Ruby. This gives students “a real chance of picking up this crucial skill quickly.”

 

2) It is English-like.

 

They say that programming is like learning a language. That could not be more true than with Ruby. With grammar and syntax similar to that of English, though, it comes quite naturally to any English-speaker, allowing students to progress quickly in a short time.

Angel Vanegas, Freelance Developer and TA at Wyncode for over a year, said that his favorite thing about Ruby was that there is not a lot of overhead in terms of syntax, due to its similarity to English. “Everything reads fairly easily.”

 

3) Learning this language early on drills in the fundamentals. Wyncoders leave with a well rounded understanding of how to code. 

Exceptions to the rule are minimal in Ruby, helping discipline students in development basics. These rules learned early on will also apply to other, more difficult languages later on.

Jon notes that Ruby makes object oriented programming (OOP) approachable for beginners. And OOP is a core pattern for coding across many many languages. He goes on:

“The framework that I had to learn for work, immediately leaving Wyncode was Flex. That framework is pretty different from Rails but a lot of the core concepts were familiar. I had to learn a lot of new patterns, but the underlying flow of data was similar. I was able to pick it up with some effort, but it was completely doable. We’ve already had other Wyncoders after me pick it up in their roles.”

 

4) Learning Ruby first makes it easier to pick up other languages in the future.

Just because we focus on Ruby on Rails, does not at all mean that our students don’t work  in other languages after Wyncode. Quite the opposite, in fact!! Our students work as full-time developers in almost every language across the spectrum.

Jon writes in ActionScript, advanced JavaScript, Flex, Backbone JS, MXML, and is starting to pick up Angular and React.

Angel notes, “Because Ruby is object oriented and a lot of the mainstream languages are in that vain, their concepts don’t really change language to language. Once you know one thing you can adapt to other languages.” He felt it was “not at all” difficult to pick up other languages and frameworks after completing Wyncode. He has since picked up JavaScript, Pascal, Java, and Python.

Ricardo has learned Java, SWIFT, Objective C, and more advanced JavaScript on his own after the program. He similarly noted that picking up new languages “was very easy. The trick to picking up a language after Wyncode is to do it right after the program.”

Has your interest been piqued? Want to see more of what Wyncode is all about? Learn some Ruby on Rails with us at an upcoming event or sign up for the next full-time or part-time cohorts starting soon.

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