Makers Academy Review – Week 10 – Rails Magic!

This will be my last Makers Academy Review about the curriculum because next week and for the final week we shall be working on the final project. Which for me will be Pinch, the snapchat for deals web application which will take inspiration also from GroupOn and from Twitter. This should be all very exciting and I can’t wait for the inevitable challenges and therefore knowledge that this project will bring. I however should really talk about what we learnt this week and how much I learnt.

Most of this week and therefore my headspace was taken up with discussion as to the final project however we did cover; Bootstrap, Creating your own API and basic Rails security. Bootstrap was very useful and makes building a front-end for a website very easy in a short space of time, which is excellent as this is one of the areas that REALLY frustrates me, I would much prefer to be sat on the backend coding away than fiddling about with css elements then deciding that it didn’t look good and starting again. Bootstrap looks plain but simple and it will do for now. It was awesome to see how to create your own API with jbuilder etc. it will also come in useful for dynamically feeding content to the front end, I like it a lot.

Rails security


I learnt a bit about Rails security and how to change your routes so that it covers up the id of the various pages a user visits, I also learnt to authenticate the correct user when they enter various pages and to make sure that other types of users cannot access that side of the site. Security alongside Devise is also very important, with the before_filter: authenticate_user! method to ensure that a user is logged in before they access the page.

This brings me to an end of my Makers Academy Review of the teaching elements of the course (the bit everyone cares about) I will keep you updated as to my progress on the final project and the graduation, which should be very exciting!

Makers Academy Review – Week 8 – Ruby on Rails

It is time for another Makers Academy Review, this week about the first week of Rails and about the upcoming launch of Makers Academy Atlas! Things have really started to get interesting now, rails is a whole new world of coding, a very powerful framework designed for building complex and powerful web applications. It is great to get my teeth stuck into something I can really use the knowledge I have gained over the last 8 weeks. It will be great to embrace the power that rails brings and develop more complex web applications. I worked a bit with rails when I went on a Hackathon weekend and found it quite daunting but fascinating all at the same time, then I was able to install the Stripe API to the app. I think that says more about the ease with which Stripe lets you deal with payments and not about my Rails ability at the time.

The teaching this week mainly consisted of doing the Rails Tutorial on the Rails website. I highly recommend this one to start with, it is about building a basic Blogging app. It is boring but informative. If you fancy something a little bit more fun with a few videos thrown in check out Rails for Zombies. Anyway yes, I don’t think the approach of sticking us in front of a tutorial anyone can do online is necessarily bad, the main value is added by the expert tuition of Alex and the other support staff.

Makers Academy Atlas

I am hearing great things about the up and coming Makers Academy Online moving the curriculum over to the internet and away from the Hackpad system that is currently used could be a really good idea and it would open up learning to people all around the world. I think Makers Academy Atlas could be a very big success but they are going up against the giants of General Assembly and DevBootcamp etc and that could prove tough. We shall see I guess.