Friday, January 22, 2016

How much can you learn in two weeks?

  Hello, everyone!

  So back in mid December, I got in contact with one of the developers who is a CTO in a start up in Baltimore, and was looking for an intern for their dev team in the company. I thought it was an interesting opportunity, and we made arrangements that I would come in after New Year for an interview. I asked him what they use, and I got back: "rails, postrgres, activerecord, sass, emberjs, sidekiq and elasticsearch". Well, wow. I have spent 5 months learning Ruby. I was aware of what Rails was, and I had no idea what all the other stuff was. So I had two weeks to learn as much as I could. Getting a little bit ahead of myself, in two weeks, I learned sinatra, database basics, postgres, activerecord, sass, spent lots of time getting more comfortable with Rails and git, and familiarized myself with Agile and Scrum model. In the end of two weeks, I launched my own Rails app, that I will be working on as a side project. My Rail's app repo on Github and My Rails app Heroku Link.
I can honestly say, I learned more and saw greater progress in my coding in those two weeks than in the last three months.

  If you would like to give my plan a shot and super boost your progress, here is my study plan:

  Fine print: you need to be solid with Ruby basics, and you need to dedicate a lot of time (or be ok with making slower progress). I recorded my study hours in two weeks. On average I studied about 6 hours a day. (3 hours was the least I ever studied on a single day, with some days studying towards 9 hours a day).

  1.  Introduction and basics of Sinatra (it will make learning Rails sooooo much easier!)

  2. (optional) Behaviour driven development in Ruby (do it if you need a refresher on testing with Rspec, heroku and git). Probably a good idea to at least look through it to make sure everything is familiar. Refer to this week as needed when questions come up.

  3. Object Oriented Ruby . don't spend too much time here, but after working through this week, you must walk away with solid understanding of http methods and how a sinatra app functions. Make your own sinatra app (not following a tutorial) to solidify the new knowledge.
  4. Database Basics. now the fun part starts. If you are not familiar with this, you need to take your time, and get through every chapter. This stuff is very important, and I use this every day, all the time, now that I work with Rails and Postgres. Don't rush this part :)
  5. ActiveRecord. Now that you are a database ninja, this part should feel easier. Again, do not rush this, because these are the ActiveRecord basics that are fundamental to everything you will be doing in Rails later. It will feel easier, as ActiveRecord automates a lot of tasks, that you learned and used to code by hand in the previous week's material.
  6. Rails Basics. Rails, finally! Now comes the part when you finally get to build things. Depending on your experience level with Rails, you can go as fast (or slow) as you need to with this and the next part.
  7. Rails Authentication
  8. Start building your own Rails app! <-- this part is where you will learn most!

   If you have any questions, or need help with your studies, feel free to reach out to me, I am always glad to help! twitter is the best way: @andreikoenig
  This is what I did in two weeks (about 18 days). I would have kept going but I ran out of time, and it was time for my interview. My interview went great, and I was offered a paid 3 months long full-time internship at the company. It is an incredible opportunity, and even though I could not leave my full time job for a 3 months internship,  I am doing it 3 days a week while still working my full time job. So yay!

  I have worked there for 3 weeks now, and I love it. I am learning a lot, and I work daily with Ruby, Rails, Javascript and emberJS. I spend Mon-Wed in Baltimore, and Thu-Sun here in Ocean City. 

  Keep at it, and keep putting in time.
  I am now absolutely positive that bootcamps are not needed, and teaching yourself code is a viable way to switch careers! :)

  Thanks for reading,



  1. Congrats Andrei! I stumbled across your blog after a google search as I am in a similar situation (though more in the beginning of my career switch at this point). Reading blogs like yours are a great inspiration. I wish you well. Happy coding!

    1. Hello, there! Thanks for your comment and for reading! If you have any questions or need advice, you are welcome to reach out to me via Twitter :)