A few months ago I started to really concentrate on Javascript, and was following along with the introduction to Javascript course over on Codecademy.com. I was enjoying it, but I’ve been hearing and seeing so much about Ruby and Rails that I decided to go ahead and give their Ruby course a try too. I was pleasantly surprised by how much it just seemed to make sense. I’ve made the decision to go ahead and start learning Rails now. Since I can usually make Javascript do what I need with a little bit of research, I’m going to put it on the back burner for the time being. I’m very excited and determined to start learning Rails, but it has been one heck of a struggle getting set up!

I wasn’t sure if I should get deep into Ruby before jumping into Rails, so I did a little bit of searching around on various forums. It seems that a lot of people agree that you can always go back and learn more Ruby once you’re familiar with Rails. As with everything not everyone will agree, but I found enough smart people saying not to worry too much about what order you learn them in.

We are going on almost two weeks since I first started setting up my computer for this! Not one bit of code has been written yet. I’ve been completely blown away by how much trouble I’m having with just downloading/upgrading all the needed items. Git alone has been a problem for the past week!

I’ve been a front end web developer for years now, but I’ve probably used Terminal all of 10 times since I started working on the web. I feel this one issue itself has really set me back so far. When looking for help on the net, you’ll see so many terms and commands for Terminal that mean nothing to you! I’m working on it, and I’ve already learned a lot about Terminal these last two weeks. I went ahead and made flash cards for Terminal commands like is suggested here.

Currently I’m following along with the book, Learn Rails, from the RailsApps folks. So far I can say that it has been pretty easy to follow along with. I would recommend it.

For now I just want to mention a few things I’ve run into, just in case some of you are seeing these problems too.

Be prepared to search and ask questions over on StackOverflow.com.

Rails questions asked by others are all over the place. Not all answers will pertain to your problem, but many of them have helped me numerous times.

Don’t forget that you might have Xcode already installed on your machine

The first major problem I ran into was trying to upgrade Git to the newest version. The newly downloaded version wouldn’t show in Terminal, because it was defaulting to the old version of Git that was installed with the full version of Xcode that I had installed two years ago.

If you don’t have Xcode installed, you don’t have to download the full, huge package to get the needed command line tools.

Head over to Apple’s Developer Site to find the command line tools.
Took me a few different downloads to realize that I needed a much older version since I’m still using the Lion osx. Make sure you’re downloading the right version depending on your system.

In Terminal, there is no indication that your passwords are being entered correctly.

This threw me off at first. Obviously you’ll know in a few seconds after hitting enter if it was right or not, but it did confuse me for a little bit.

Make sure your path to Git is right!

Honestly I’m still struggling with this, but this post here on Apple-Stackoverflow REALLY helped me when this issue arose last night. Specifically the answer given by Aaron Chambers and adjusting your bash profile.

When adding gems into your project, sometimes explicitly listing the version with it’s name, helps.

When it comes to copying and pasting gems from books or websites into your Gemfile, sometimes it might help looking that gem up on Rubygems.com to get the newest version number. For example, I copied a gem name from a book I’m following as “gem figaro”, and that was actually throwing an error. I had to go to Rubygems.com and find the actual newest version number and include that with it. So it became ” gem ‘figaro’, ‘~> 0.7.0’ “, and that worked for me.

That’s it for now. I’ll post more problems as soon as I can continue on. I’m stuck right now, I’m bummed, and I can’t find the perfect answer to my problem, but I’m going to keep working at it. I’m determined to learn this! If you’re thinking of learning Rails, or you’re in the process of it, please let me know. I would really like to talk with others who are in the process as well.