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Selena Zhao – Diving into Web Development With Ruby

Dive: Coder - Ruby
Description: Knows how to code using Ruby
Level: Level 1
Level Requirements: Can code in Ruby at a basic level
Certified On: Dec 8, 2020

Editor’s Note: On all dive certifications, we try to edit the writing as little as possible to preserve authenticity, personality, and writing style. We typically fix spelling errors, but minimally modify grammar and sentence structure (just enough to ensure readability).

Selena Zhao

Name: Selena Zhao Break Diving Level: Recruit Number of Certified Dives: 2 From: United States In: United States

1. When and Why Did You Decide to Pursue This Dive At This Level? What was your inspiration and motivation?

I decided to start pursuing this dive when I started volunteering for Break Diving around June of 2020. Most of the code on breakdiving.io uses Ruby on Rails, so understanding Ruby is pretty important for working on the team. I also wanted to learn Ruby in order to expand my coding toolbox. At that point (in June), I could only code in Java, so I wasn’t used to more programmer-friendly languages like Ruby. Learning Ruby was a good way for me to enter the world of web development while learning a larger variety of programming languages.

2. How Long Did It Take For You To Accomplish This Dive At This Level From The Day You Decided To Pursue It, And Why Did It Take That Long?

It took me approximately 2 months to accomplish this dive. I learned Ruby primarily through Pragmatic Studio and App Academy. By taking a few lessons each week, I was able to finish both Ruby courses within 2 months. I probably could have learned faster, but I think the pace I set helped me digest the information better.

3. What Was The Hardest Part About Achieving This Particular Dive Level?

The hardest part about learning Ruby at this level was getting used to the syntax. It was really easy to forget the methods in Ruby. Also, as I mentioned above, I was transitioning from Java, where you have to add semicolons after each statement, initialize your variables, add parentheses for if statements, etc. In Ruby, those aren’t really requirements. It took a while to get used to, but coding in Ruby is a lot more relaxing now.

4. What Was The Easiest Part About Achieving This Particular Dive Level?

The easiest part about learning Ruby at this level happened after getting used to the syntax and how different Ruby was from Java. Ruby is a very flexible language, with helper methods and shortcuts. Once I learned how to use shortcuts, programming in Ruby got a lot easier. One example would be using symbols in hashes. While the traditional way to assign a value to a symbol would be {:symbol => value}, Ruby also allows you to write {symbol: value}. Once I got used to all these little shortcuts, writing code was much more efficient.

5. What Is Your Advice For Someone Who Is Pursuing This Dive And Level?

My advice for someone pursuing Level 1 Ruby would be to practice a lot. Repetitive exercises can help you retain the information longer and build a stronger foundation in Ruby. For me, Pragmatic Studio was helpful for teaching the application of a concept, but App Academy was where I did all the technical practice. I think both understanding how a concept is used in an app and having a lot of practice with that concept are key to being a successful Ruby programmer.

6. What Are Some Of The Best Resources You Recommend to Those Pursuing This Dive At This Level, And Why Do You Recommend Them? Please Include Relevant Weblinks, If Applicable.

The following are three resources I used to pursue Ruby at this level.  

  • The Pragmatic Studio Ruby course is helpful because it guides you in building an application using Ruby. Unlike other online courses, Pragmatic Studio relates the concepts to each other, so you understand how they might be applied in real life.

  • App Academy is good because it has a lot of practice problems that you can do. In that sense, it’s more like a traditional programming tutorial, since it doesn’t really connect the different concepts and methods to each other.

  • I also liked RubyGuides because it explained methods for different classes very well. An alternative would be the official Ruby documentation. I would recommend either for searching up methods that you intend to use.

  • And of course, we have a bunch of Ruby coders in the BreakDiving.io community, and I hope you will join us!

Resource 1: Break Diving's H.A.C.K.ers Group - The site is coded in Ruby on Rails, so a lot of people there know this language well!

Resource 2: Pragmatic Studio - An excellent Ruby course.

Resource 3: App Academy - A free full-stack RoR course.

Resource 4: Ruby Guides - An in-depth resource.

Resource 5: -

7. Tell Us A Story Of One Of Your Adventures While Pursuing This Dive (At This Level).

One adventure I had while pursuing Ruby was on App Academy. I accidentally started on the wrong course in the beginning.

In App Academy, you’re supposed to finish learning Ruby before continuing to JavaScript, but I had jumped straight to JavaScript without learning Ruby.

As I was watching the lessons, I was a bit confused because I didn’t know anything about Ruby, but the person teaching kept referring to Ruby methods, like puts. It was a little disorienting, because all the JavaScript terms were being described in Ruby terms, and I knew neither language.

When I did find out that I was in the wrong section of App Academy, I had already watched around five videos on JavaScript. I was pretty dismayed to start all over again in the Ruby section.

Later when I actually started in the right section, the lessons got a lot easier. That was when I finally started learning Ruby on App Academy.

8. What Evidence Did You Submit to Prove You Met the Requirements for This Dive and Level?

  • Through Pragmatic Studio, I created a game using Ruby.

  • I am also on the Break Diving coding team, and they all vouch for my basic proficiency using Ruby.

9. Will You Be Pursuing The Next Level For This Dive? If Yes, Why? If Not, Why Not?

Yes, I will be pursuing the next levels for Ruby. I would love to learn more about Ruby and how I can apply it in Ruby on Rails. I would also be more helpful to the Break Diving staff as I continue learning more concepts in Ruby.

10. What is the Break Diver's Creed?

No Rules. No Excuses. No Regrets.

Certificate photo:

And having made this post, and provided adequate evidence to the dive committee, Selena Zhao is now hereby certified by Break Diving, Inc. as: Coder - Ruby - Level 1. Congratulations ! Thank you for being an inspiration to others!

Certificate number: 71

The author above wrote this WYSEguidance post as one of the certification requirements to become certified by Break Diving, Inc. for a dive completed. Would you also like to find greater success, happiness, and friendship, and make genuine supportive connections with others around the world pursuing your same dreams? Come join us at Break Diving and soon your story will be the next one you read about on this site!

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