Tag Archives: web development

Technically Speaking: Ruby on Rails

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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.

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Technically Speaking: MySQL

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MySQL. You’ll hear developers speak of it in lofty terms. “It’s my lifeline,” “it’s essential,” “without it, we’d never have launched.” It also happens to be integral to some of the largest web platforms in the world, such as Facebook, Google and Twitter.

So what is it?

MySQL (pronounced “My S-Q-L” or “My Sequel”) is an open-source, relational database management system (RDBMS). It enables developers to manage data streams in a fluid, scalable, reliable way. Essentially, one can outsource a multi-terabyte data flow to the MySQL database server, and freely customize that data’s interaction with your site or web application.

Think about the data inside files that you store on your computer’s hard drive. That data is accessible to you, but unless you organize your files as part of a larger system, its contents are static, and its relationship with data in other files is difficult to ascertain. When one inputs databases into MySQL, all that data – the location, size and inventory of a company’s retail stores, for instance – can be filtered, edited, and searched with amazing speed. Put another way, MySQL is where data points talks to each other, and also interact with the web.

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Technically Speaking: Drupal

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Hundreds of different platforms exist today to help developers manage content online. Of them, WordPress, Joomla, and Plone have amassed significant followings in the past few years – WordPress 3.3 alone has been downloaded 16 million times since its release in December 2011. But today in Assembled Basics we hone in on Drupal, which, if not the forefather of these newer platforms, has been deeply influential in building the infrastructure of the web over the last 6-7 years.

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Technically Speaking: CoffeeScript

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Developers love to turn simple into simpler. Every year, new programming languages are introduced that try to tweak the most popular languages – Ruby, Python,C++, etc. – into something cleaner, faster, and more accessible. Few, if any, have had the success of CoffeeScript, invented in 2009 by Jeremy Ashkenas

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The Biggest Opportunity of 2012? Learning Objective-C

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Time and time again, the question of “what programming language should I learn?” seems to surface in various internet locales. There are a lot of ways to answer this question, depending on factors like existing skill set, desired end result, and personal preference.

Here’s another approach to consider–one that looks at career utility as opposed to didactic value: which programming languages currently have the most attractive supply and demand ratio in the job marketplace? That is, which languages are associated with the most open jobs and the fewest candidates to fill them?

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On Learning to Code, pt. 3: Resources to Teach You Rails in a Month

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Since I find the process of memorizing by looking at the same material over and over again extremely tedious, I’ve developed my own method, which involves finding a handful of introductory classes online and speeding through them really quickly. When I was in college, I used to download podcasts of the same courses I was taking but at different universities, like Berkeley or Stanford. Then I’d listen to the podcasts while I was on the subway or walking around. It turned out that my approach eliminated hours of studying I would have had to do otherwise, and teachers love it when you’re able to bring in a unique perspective that wasn’t covered in class.

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On Learning to Code, pt. 2: Choosing a Programming Language

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Not knowing much about coding makes it especially scary to jump right in. You’ve probably heard just enough about all the different programming languages–C++, PHP, Java, Python, Ruby, etc.–to have no idea where to start.

The truth is, most of these languages can do the same thing. They’re just different ways of doing it. Yes, there are some exceptions, but you don’t really need to know about those when you’re starting out. So which language should you learn?

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On Learning to Code, pt. 1

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I want to write about a topic that I think will benefit a lot of people: learning how to code. When I first quit my job to start my own company, all I had was an idea. The goal at that point was to find someone with a technical background to actually execute my idea. I suspect that many of you are in similar situations. There’s something you should know: it’s never going to happen.

Demand for developers has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels. Think about it. Anyone with any aspirations in the tech scene is starting their own company right now. Each of those startups needs its own lead developer (not to mention that companies like Facebook and Google are sucking up thousands of talented developers).

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