From the monthly archives:

August 2010

Rack is the basis for most major web frameworks in Ruby (like Ruby on Rails.) This video gives a basic overview on how it is used and what features make it a powerful component for Ruby Web Frameworks

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Download (iPod & iPhone) 25 MB

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Mike and I talked about Ruby Web Conf. It’s coming up fast, so go sign up. Remember to use the code TEACHME to get $30 off.

Here are some of the other topics we covered:

Mountain West Ruby Conf
RailsConf
The Semantic Web (Wikipedia)

The speakers and sessions from the conference we discussed can all be found under the sessions section of the Ruby Web Conf website.

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This is the continuation of the Rails 3 Build a Blog series. This episode includes implementation of the Edit and Destroy methods on the Posts Controller. There are a lot of things left to cover on Rails 3, but this gets you the basics of the MVC framework and how to use Cucumber to build your application using BDD.

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Download (iPhone/iPod) 79.9 MB

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Time management essentially breaks down into two parts: Eliminating Distractions and Planning.

Planning begins with estimating and ends with scheduling. Long term scheduling won’t help you stay on task as well as short term planning. One method for this is The Pomodoro Technique. You can get some software to help you do the pomodoro technique.

Eliminating distractions has more to do with what you’re doing than with what others are doing. Checking email, answering the phone, instant messaging, social media, and internet browsing can typically be postponed.

There are some great tips in The 4-Hour Workweek

I also recommend that you try working from home or from a cafe near your office. It gets you away from the people who need your help, but can really wait, without completely isolating yourself.

Finally, keep track of what you spend your time on with Rescue Time.

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In this screencast, I show you how to generate the api and guides for offline viewing.
[click to continue…]

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Estimating your workload can be tricky, but most management, marketing, and sales departments want to know when new features or bug fixes will be out so they can project where what they’ll be able to sell in the future.

You can estimate on the following scales:

  • T-shirt sizes
  • Fibonacci Numbers
  • Algorithmic/Exponential scale
  • Linear scale

You can estimate in several units of measurement as well:

  • Points (Complexity)
  • Hours
  • Days
  • T-shirt sizes

Overall, estimation can help you inform timelines, identify problems in features or your development cycle, and open discussion on tough features.

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