coding Tag Archives - General Assembly Blog

A Beginner’s Guide To Contributing To Open Source


open source image

Natasha is a iOS Engineer at Capital One Labs and instructor at GA in San Francisco. This post originally appeared on her blog, Natasha The Robot.

When I first started as a Rails developer, I thought of all the Rails gems as magic. Some smart people were making all these cool libraries for me to use! I had no idea how any of these libraries worked, and I was ok with that. They worked and did what I needed them to do. They seemed so comprehensive and thought out, that I didn’t even know what I would contribute to them even if I wanted to!

To this day, I haven’t contributed any open source code to the Rails community. And that’s because the Rails community is extremely active on open source, so it’s actually hard to find things to contribute to! Of course you can go through issues and try to solve them, but they are usually pretty complex and intimidating, to be honest. With all these smart people commenting on the issues, it’s hard to feel like you’re good enough to solve it!

Continue reading

The Making of


Settling into work one morning a couple weeks ago, I began a brisk stroll through Facebook.  Several of my friends had shared a site called, most with accompanying copy along the lines of: “Just hold on, it’s raining down,”  “Started from the cloudy, now we clear.” This was an obvious call to action for me to click through and so I didn’t waste any time. Once there, I discovered Drake delivering my current weather. “Clever,” I thought, “Genius, actually.”

Working in social media, I tend to analyze viral hits more than the average person. I took note of some prominent social sharing options, a visually appealing image, useful information, and that guy Drake of course. Powerful ingredients to a viral hit. Fast forward a few days when my eyes widened with excitement as I found out that the site was actually created by a GA Front-End Web Development student, Tom Galle. It was hard to track down Tom for an interview (he was busy dealing with People, Huffington Post, and Time to name just a few) but we finally made it happen.

Where did you get the inspiration to make

My friend Bob and I are Drake fans, and love to make projects that are related to hip-hop culture & technology. Previously we made ‘one million dollars for iPhone’.

We figured that for our next project, we should do something with Drake. We both like his Nothing Was The Same album cover and felt we should try to do something with that since it’s such a cool image.

Very random, but we quickly came up with the idea to make a weather app that changes the background according to your current local weather. We both found it super funny and immediately said to each other “We should make that ASAP.”

Continue reading

Dash—One Week Later


Ivan S., a teacher from Ukraine, sent us this picture of his students using Dash

Last week, General Assembly released Dash, our interactive, online learn-to-code program, to the world. What happened after that exceeded even our most wildly optimistic projections:

  • More than 40,000 people signed up, representing nearly every country on earth
  • Together, Dash users worldwide created over 124,000 websites, writing more than 41 million lines of code.
  • Collectively, users spent more than 9.3k people-hours (or 388 days) learning to code on Dash.

These numbers are great, but what we’re most excited about how much people enjoyed using Dash. We heard from a lot of folks over the past week. Here are a few highlights:

“Wow! All I can say is this is changing my life right now. As a graphic designer I have been trying to get into coding and every time I get discouraged and push it aside. I found your site today and can’t stop learning. I absolutely love the way this is teaching me it all seems to just click now. I was using crutches like adobe muse and didn’t have an understanding of what I was actually designing. I hope to really get into this and start coding sites all from code when I’m ready.”
– Sean O.

Continue reading

GA Alumni Team Up to Win at HackFit Boston

By and

Two General Assembly campuses made one (winning) team at HackFit Boston last weekend. Alumni from GA’s Boston and NYC long-form courses joined forces at the two-day hackathon, which took place at Microsoft’s New England Research & Development Center from September 28-29 in Cambridge, MA.

Five NYC alums made the trip up to Boston on Friday night in an Audi SUV from our friends at ZipCar. WeHostels provided accommodations for the weekend.

Over the course of two days, the GA alumni team – a diverse group of UX designers, front-end developers, and back-end developers – got to know each other, mapped out their idea, and set out to win. And win they did.

Continue reading

5 Steps for Getting Started Designing and Building a Website


Keep your goals in sight. You’ve made your resolutions — we want to help you keep them (at least the ones that aren’t food related). That’s why we’ve put together five simple things you can do to get started with Front-End Web Development.

Continue reading

5 Steps for Getting Started Coding a Web App


Keep your goals in sight. You’ve made your resolutions — we want to help you keep them (at least the ones that aren’t food related). That’s why we’ve put together five simple things you can do to get started in Back-End Web Development using Ruby on Rails.

Continue reading

What Is Front-End Web Development?



Name: Nick Schaden (@nschaden)
Occupation: Web Designer/Developer

1. In 140 characters or less, what is front-end web development?

A mix of programming and layout that powers the visuals and interactions of the web.

2. If a website were a house, front-end web development would be ______?

The pretty exterior that gives the house character, or the host that invites guests in and makes them feel at home.

Continue reading

Technically Speaking: Ruby on Rails



Whether you’re a rapper who’s become too rich and powerful, or a web framework that’s become popular beyond anyone’s expectations, one thing is true: haters gonna hate. This is the case with Ruby on Rails, perhaps more so than any other topic in the developer community in recent years. It’s the code messiah, or it’s worthless – everyone has their opinion. In any event, Ruby on Rails powers many of the web’s most popular services – Airbnb, Groupon, and Hulu to name a few – and is at the heart of at least 250,000 other sites on the internet. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at what it is.

Continue reading