Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Launching My First Rails Application

I have launched a couple of websites in my professional career. Most of them using PHP/MYSQL even Cold Fusion back in the day. About 2 years ago the company I work for wanted to redesign the company's web site. There were long debates on who was going to take on the redesign, myself or outsource it to a web design company. It was a little blow to my ego at first, but now winner, winner, chicken dinner for me. We hired a firm Trabian Technology - check them out at They designed a nice looking web site for us.

When talking with the project manager for the redesign. I asked him what types of technologies they use for developing the web site. He said "RUBY ON RAILS". I never heard of Ruby on Rails but something came over me; I had to learn everything I could about this technology.

Where to go when you need answers? Google I say. A simple search "Ruby on Rails" and I'm feeling lucky. Hello, I watched the video how to create a web blog in 15 minutes. First thought, NO WAY "F"in way! Fifteen minutes later, I was hooked.

The next time I talked with Doug, I ask what book would be the best one to start with? He only had one answer "Agile Web Development with Rails" From Pragmatic Bookshelf. Check them out I think hands down they are the best. As with any new technology I jumped right in, creating the example application from the book.

I would say it’s not the easiest programming language to learn but once you grasp with whole "MVC" Model - View - Controller style, it really opens up, for me at least. And I'm still learning the language, sometimes I think I should know more than I do but then I remember Rome wasn't built in one day.

With that said, I have designed, developed, and launched my first rails application. First tip; when you do a project for a close friend, make sure you layout everything. Thank God for BaseCamp. Second Tip; use Base Camp for project management. It is easy to use and it's free for one project to manage.

I have learned so much in the last four months about "really" launching a web site. So over the next couple of weeks, I'll try and bring to you the highs and lows of the making of the Also I'll bring you step-by-step video (I hope) tutorials on making I will start with finding a hosting company and end with deployment. So please stop back.

Thank you