Author Archives: sarah

startup internships

Blazing Cloud is seeking companies to join the next session of its innovative internship program. The program targets companies which are developing with Ruby on Rails and related tech. Arguably, this shouldn’t even be called an internship — it is really an on ramp for talented engineers hungry to break into Rails development. [...]

rails: adding a preview option to new form

Suppose we wanted to modify a basic Rails application so there was the option of a preview before creating a new record.
What is a good pattern for adding a second button to a form?
There are two options:

One controller action with a flag: nice articles by EyeDeal and Myers Development (from 2008 [...]

Ruby Classes in March

Ruby classes will be taught by Liah Hansen and Sarah Allen. Blazing Cloud is offering two classes, both on Sunday afternoons, for six sessions: March 7 - April 18th. (Note: class will not be held April 4th.) Also, note that Sarah is teaching a full week of classes on Ruby and Rails March [...]


Outsourcing has become a familiar pattern in the software industry. As an alternative to high-priced American workers, companies will hire people overseas at a fraction of the hourly wage. I propose an alternate model of “insourcing” — hiring folks close to home who have the smarts and some of the skills but not [...]

Mobile Training

I just finished a 3 day mobile training session in Columbus, Ohio. I taught cross-platform mobile development with Rhodes, RhoSync and mobile web UI techniques. I was thrilled to be joined by Brian Moore, who demonstrated how to use mspec with Rhodes (rspec-like testing framework for mobile) and a new debugger that [...]

BlackBerry browser limitations

Developing on BlackBerry Web UI is like stepping into 1996 with one-hand tied behind your back. It teases you into thinking you can use css, but without the ability to position divs, table-based layouts are the way to go. If you are surfing the open web, you get to use the 4.7 browser [...]

WebOS Workshop Notes

Yesterday’s webOS workshop, hosted at Pivotal Labs, provided an immersive learning experience for Ruby on Rails experts who were Web OS newbies. We required that everyone had installed the SDK in advance and verify their installation by building a very small sample project. I told people ahead of time that they would be [...]

What classes are Enumerable in Ruby?

Enumerable is a powerful mixin that provides some really slick operations on collections. I started looking at it since I think it is important to teach map and inject, but ended up teaching about most of its methods, since they are so cool. I found a great series of exercises and added to [...]

Notes from Rails 3 bugmash

Blazing Cloud hosted a “Do One Thing for Rails 3″ bugmash and Workshop curriculum hacksession. We had four participants:

Melanie Archer (@mejarc)
Karen Zeller (@karenzeller8)
Sharon Lee
Sarah Allen (@ultrasaurus)

We followed wycats instructions for getting started. Some pre-conditions that weren’t spelled out:

Ruby 1.8.7 is required, which implies a re-install of rubygems (you need 1.3.5+) and your [...]

using pluralize in a radiant custom page

I’m working on extending the custom tags in the radiant-search-extension. Radiant tags are really a lot like Rails views, but they don’t have access to the view helpers. After learning how to call helpers outside of views, I simply added this method to my custom page:

def pluralize(*args)
ActionController::Base.helpers.pluralize [...]