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Diving Into Rails

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Hello World (specifically, Terrible’s awesome community):

My name is Lexi, and I’m a Terrible Labs Summer Associate. Though I’m sure you have plenty of questions (are there really dinosaurs all over the walls? [yes] do they like South Park? [definitely yes]) I thought I’d fill you all in on what I’m doing here.

My current goal is to learn Rails, the full stack app-building framework used frequently by the Terrible Labs team. I want to be completely unthreatened by coding, to build things I’m proud of, and to document my experiences - which in my opinion, should be goals of anyone interested in the internet.

I’m more of a writer than a dev by trade, though as I navigate Rails I’m starting to realize these two skills are not so different from one another. Both activities, in my opinion, aim at elegant, useful tools that reach people and help them live their lives. Therefore, I figure that by documenting my experiences, I can bridge the two worlds, and to motivate people who are learning to code too.

I’m very lucky that I get to learn from the best – the Terrible guys are so good at what they do, and have been incredibly helpful answering my questions. That said, there’s no better place to learn than the internet itself. Hackers, I’ve realized, are some of the most informative, supportive community builders I’ve ever seen. They’ve already built the frameworks, fixed the bugs, and wrote the tutorials. It’s your job to jump in.

For my first post, I thought I’d share some of my favorite resources for Rails beginners. I have tried virtually every programming guide under the blazing internet sun, so I hope I can save you newbies some time and energy. Let us know how everything goes – we’d love to get you more involved in what Terrible Labs is all about.


I really like these guides. The Getting Started tutorial is very clear and easy to follow. I’m currently building a blog, and plan to work on more content-focused apps as the summer goes on.


I’ve found Codecademy extremely helpful for getting basic programming skills down. I’ve been learning Javascript, but I find their interactive lessons to be the best on the web for learning (rather than copying) basic functions and concepts.


TryRuby is great for understanding the basic Ruby fundamentals. From here, I suggest buying a book, but this interactive guide is good prep for navigating Rails.

Rails Tutorial

Whenever I ask Rails gurus for advice, they tell me to do Rails Tutorial. I found it especially helpful for walking through setup.

Stack Overflow

If you haven’t heard of Stack Overflow by now, you will come across it very quickly if you Google your errors (arguably the best tactic on here!). This site kills.

See you soon!

– Lexi

@lexilewtan, lexi@terriblelabs.com