Saturday, January 5, 2013

Eating Some Rubeque

I took a little break from the major stresses of my life for about 2 weeks.  I completely disconnected from all things work related.  This included anything to do with my full time job or work on Reading Glue.  Wednesday I was back in the saddle and trying to catch up with the 500 or so emails that were waiting for me.  By Thursday night I was caught up and ready to get back into the groove of completing features needed to start user testing on Reading Glue.  I am not sure why, but I had to do a quick search for something related to a question I had with a Ruby class, and I came across the site Rubeque.  Rubeque is a site that has tons of Ruby koans (practice problems that you solve using code).  It is a great way to sharpen your skills using Ruby.  I had landed on the site a while back, but had not really played around with it.  I decided to try out a couple of the problems.  To my surprise, I was actually challenged a bit.  These were elementary level questions, and I felt that they probably should not be challenging me this much.  It really shined a light on how little I really know when it comes to writing code.  The past 6 months have been full of building Rails apps, front end coding, but I have not really worked on much Ruby that has forced me to learn more.

After being tested by a couple of the initial questions, I decided to put everything on hold that night and jump into working through some more problems.  My favorite part of Rubeque is the fact that after completing a problem, you are able to view other people's solutions.  I find it very interesting to scan through the different ways people attack and solve a given problem.  As I am searching for a solutions to my problems, I find myself reading through the Ruby documentation.  I always told myself that I needed to slowly work myself through the Ruby documents, but never took the time.  These problems have forced me to read through it to find the correct methods needed to solve a given problem. While playing around with these problems late at night, I have found this to be very addicting   Both Thursday and Friday nights I would tell myself that once I completed the current problem that it would be time to go to bed.  After completing the so called "final problem of the night" I would take a peek at what was next.  Being the gunslinger that I am, I would immediately try to quickly solve it.  Sometimes it was a quick solution, and other times I needed to study it a bit.  After completing that "final final problem of the night," I would take a peek again at the next problem.  The cycle kept going until I would get a text from Julie at 3AM telling me to get upstairs.

I am not sure where the name Rubeque came from.  Could it be any relation BBQ?  I love BBQ.  I love it probably more than any other food.  When I sit down to eat BBQ, I always end up overeating (as proof by my waistline).  I doubt the names have any connection, but I have found that I have a similar lack of portion control with Rubeque and BBQ.  It is a fun way to challenge yourself to learn better ways to code in Ruby.  I have completed the elementary level questions so far.  I would like to make it a goal to work on at least one problem a day.  So while others are making resolutions to trim off the weight for the new year, I am going to be gorging myself with Ruby.