Learning Ruby on Rails can be a difficult task when you just start out. Having to learn the MVC architecture, rails standards, routes, and where to place some of the logic (controller or model). Its scary, but don’t let it consume you, push forward and keep learning. I have found that when first learning Rails its can be more fun and easy to catch on if you use some of the gems that are available, such as Devise, Simple Form, CanCanCan, Rolify, CarrierWave, and the AWS SDK. These few gems can get you off to a good start while learning the basics of what goes where and how they work together.
I recently started digging deeper into Rails and found myself learning more, faster by using these gems. I started building a personal project for myself and maybe later for my Church, or any Church that may wish to use this app. It also gave me another idea for the future. The app is a simple small groups app that will allow you to sign up, find and join a small group, or create your own small group. Its very simple with groups having members and events. I wouldn’t have been able to learn or even build this app as fast as I have without these gems. But you can’t just bundle these gems and build, you have to look at them and see what is under the hood.
Exploring these gems while building my app gave me a better understanding of the Rails framework, it helped me learn where my code goes, and it even helped me learn some pretty cool syntax shortcuts that I would have never ventured into learning. I’m not saying find a gem for everything you need and build your project only on gems of other peoples code, but it is a platform for learning. Use it, grow you knowledge and then start building on it. Learn how things fit together so you can write better code, create your own gems, contribute to open source projects, and become an awesome developer.