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 9 – Learning Rails

I am coming towards the end of my Makers Academy experience and therefore no doubt this will be one of the last Makers Academy Review articles I shall write. I hope that the weekly reviews have been helpful for people who are considering joining Makers Academy.


This week packed in so many things, Websockets, Devise, CoffeeScript, SASS, HAML and AWS. We used so many things with Rails that it is kind of hard to keep up. Websockets was by far the coolest, it is basically AJAX but it keeps an open connection with the app so that it can push information instantly as and when it is necessary. Devise took a lot of hassle out of the user authentication process and learning to use Facebook API to enable Facebook login is hugely beneficial. There is so many things you can do when you harness the power of both Devise and OmniAuth with regards to 3rd party APIs, you can quite easily setup a user to authenticate themselves via every social network under the sun.

In love with HAML

I have something of a love affair with HAML, it makes the previously disgusting syntax of HTML/ERB look so neat and beautiful, on top of that, it makes perfect sense, the indentation makes it clear what belongs where. Having said that, I haven’t yet fallen in love with SASS or SCSS, if I were to like either it would be SASS simply because the HAML indentation is brought over to it. I haven’t really had a big need to use SASS for my projects yet and this is certainly an area in which I don’t feel comfortable. AWS is very useful and reasonably easy to set up for storing all types of media.

All in all I am really starting to enjoy the whole experience and Rails I think is really where I have seen the most growth in knowledge and where I have found something I actually want to learn because it is obviously a very powerful tool! Guess what the next Makers Academy Review will be about!? Ruby on Rails! The variety is the spice of life!

Makers Academy Review – Week 6 – Bookmark Manager

In another installment of my ongoing, blog by blow Makers Academy Review I shall be coding a fully fuctional bookmark manager. Well kind of. More from copied and pasted code from the Hackpad (a resource that holds lots of the Makers Academy curriculum). This is my least favourite method of learning. I get thoroughly bored and want to distract myself in every possible way. I also feel like I am not learning anything, if I could learn well by reading I wouldn’t be at Makers Academy. I would be sat at home in my underpants reading every Ruby, Ruby on Rails and Rspec/Cucumber book under the sun. Unfortunately, I have to pay top dollar because I don’t have the will and determination to do that. Likely due to me being a lazy B and more seriously not absorbing books at all, which is part of the reason as to why I find every possible way to do resort to reading a book, which is easy in the technological era.

Anyway I didn’t manage to finish the bookmark manager by friday due to this sheer boredom so I had to pull the example one for the Friday Test and the next weeks work (working with Javascript, which as you will read was a more pleasant experience.

Makers Academy Review – Week 5 – Sudoku Pro!

Sudoku Puzzle!

Week 5 is over and it is time to carry on with the Makers Academy Review and I have to say I feel very disappointed in myself. I have done/learnt nowhere near enough this week. This has a lot to do with my lack of attention to the task at hand. I underestimated the amount of material it was necessary for me to cover and I am behind.

The main topic we are covering here is really Sinatra, this is Enrique’s favourite framework, although I am not sure you can call it much of a framework, it doesn’t really do anything! That is probably my ignorance of the topic which I am sure he will dispel me of next week!

One thing I did learn this week: I am awful at Sudoku!

Makers Academy – Battleship & Sudoku – Week 4

This week at Makers Academy was the best I have had yet and I have more to add to my review of Makers Academy. To start the week off we split into teams and tried our hands at building a programme that would be able to play battleship with a server that had been set up. We managed to get ours to work after a lot of changes. It was an amazing experience and I definitely learnt a lot doing it. It was nice to visualise what we have all been working so hard on these past few weeks and to see how far we have come.

Later on in the week I paired with Darrell, who appears to study a great deal and is certainly ahead of me when it comes to his Ruby knowledge. I gained a good deal of insight and knowledge from him and I was shocked at how much he had picked up over the last 4 weeks.

Next week if turning that Sudoku into a web app, that should be interesting. Overall this week was fantastic and I look forward to learning more and carrying on with my Makers Academy Review