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LABS
Learning your first programming language

You have probably heard that you can never fully master a programming language. While this is true it doesn’t mean you can’t learn the basic rules of a language fairly quickly (you can). Languages generally tend to be expressive, and as such, they are constantly evolving as the community pushes the limits of what the language was designed to do.

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LABS
So you want to be a programmer?

I have been asked by at least a few people if I could tell them the best way to get started with programming and I have been slightly ashamed that I was unable to confidently answer that question.

I got started in a way that was certainly not the most efficient one, and it really bugs me when I read answers to this question that assert that the only way to become a good programmer is to do what I did and walk uphill both ways in the snow while fighting compilers until you reflexively cringe at a mismatched bracket.

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LABS
Learning Processes

Every person have their own way of learning, for each one of us there is a method that works better. We have to try and understand the differences and that another person may be slower/faster to learn using a particular method.

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LABS
Visit to Olin College

Visiting Olin

Today, Josh Knowles, Grant Hutchins, and I visited Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA to talk to Prof. Mark L. Chang's amazing new dotcom course. We talked about agile development, and more specifically how Pivotal does agile and why. We went through an example of test-driven development for a simple Rails app, and had a miniature inception for a fictitious product.

Some students asked for some resources, particularly for documentation, so I put together a collection of resources for anyone looking to pick up agile, TDD and Ruby on Rails. This is intentionally not an exhaustive list. I wanted to include the bare minimum for getting started on each topic as a jumping off point and include further references at the end.