Author Archives: sarah

Ruby on Rails class webinar

We’ve decided to offer our popular Ruby on Rails class to remote participants. I’ll be giving a repeat of the first class today (Sunday, Jan 30th) at 4pm PST and classes will be recorded. The class lasts for 2 hours. The regular class time will be Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm PST and there will be 8 class [...]

32- or 64-bit Ruby?

For the most part Ruby abstracts the architecture of the machine, but sometimes you need to know quickly and easily when you are installing components.  So… how do you tell in Ruby if you are on a 64-bit architecture? I like this concise answer best: >>  (-1).size If this evaluates to 8 you are on [...]

Rails 3: ActiveRecord

Rails 3 cheat sheet Part 2: ActiveRecord Everything you know from Rails 2 still works and will for some time, but there is new cool stuff AND some of the Rails 2 syntax is deprecated and will eventually go away, so you should be aware. 1) Use first, last, all (not find(:first), find(:last) and find(:all) [...]

Rails 3: getting started

Rails 3 Cliff Notes, Part 1: getting started Requires Ruby 1.8.7 or higher, but Ruby 1.9.2 is very stable and you should use it for new projects (unless you deploy on Heroku). Use rvm to remain sane when switching between new and old projects. By creating a .rvmrc file, rvm will automatically switch you to [...]

Peer Pressure for Rails 3

Blazing Cloud is working on a new iPhone application, called Peer Pressure.  The idea is that you get your friends to help you achieve your goals.  We’re beta testing it and it is at the point where I feel ready to try a public goal. I’ve have been working on updating my class curriculum for [...]

guidlines for open source

Evan Phoenix (@evanphx), lead developer for Rubinius, spoke today at the Golden Gate Ruby Conference about how to effectively run or contribute to an open source project. Awesome talk.  Great information that is pretty slow to figure out by osmosis. Evan presented 4 guidelines: Contributors are a privilege: sometimes they feel like a burden.  They [...]

Training Hackers for an Awesome Job Market

I hear that the economy still sucks and lots of people are out of work, and I believe it. At the same time, I hear managers complain that they can’t find good engineers who know the tools and languages to create mobile and web software. Nick Saint published an insightful article today, “Why It’s So [...]

Making DSLs with Ruby

My favorite Ruby Kaigi talk was by Yasuko Ohba (@nay3) of Everyleaf Corporation in Japan. Despite the fact that the talk was in Japanese, with nice code examples on the slides and key translations over IRC, I was able to follow the presentation and learn some tricks. The coding techniques are really quite straight-forward, just [...]

Blazing Cloud Sign

We have a new sign for our office. Check it out next time you visit:

Strategies on Improving Pair Programming

For last week’s retrospective, we decided to focus on strategies to improve our performance as pair programmers. We chose the “Force Field Analysis” activity from the Agile Retrospectives book, an activity geared toward gaining insight. I was pleased to hear at the end of the retrospective, one of the newer engineers remark: “In my fifteen [...]