Jay McGavren's Journal


Advice for New Developers

I had a new reader message me today, and I think my reply could help other beginning coders as well (whether in Ruby, Go, or any other language). So I thought I’d share it here.

I started reading your book “Head-First Ruby” today.

What’s the best advice you want to give a newbie just starting out?

And my reply:

Thanks for picking up my book! Overall, the book itself contains almost all the advice I would give to a newbie. So I would suggest just reading through and coding along with the examples.

If you think of an interesting change or improvement you want to make to the examples, definitely do it! It’s important to experiment and see all the different ways things can fit together so that you understand it as deeply as possible.

Also, remember, this book is just the beginning of your journey as a developer. I try to lay a solid foundation, but there will be much more to learn after this.

If your goal is to get a job coding in Ruby, you’re definitely going to want to learn Ruby on Rails. The chapters on Sinatra at the end of the book are designed to help prepare you for learning Rails.

If you decide you want to learn a completely different language like Python or JavaScript, don’t worry, many of the same concepts you learned in Head First Ruby will still apply!

Also, know that all developers (including me) get confused and frustrated sometimes. The successful ones are those who push through it and keep going. Whatever your current problem is, you will find a solution if you just keep Googling and looking at the problem from different angles. (Sometimes taking a break and coming back to it the next day helps!)

I think that’s about all I have that isn’t included in the book. Best of luck in your development journey!


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