Aaron Sumner

3 picks for May 10, 2013

I inadvertently took a break from sharing picks last week, as I was having too much fun in Portland at Railsconf. Here are this week’s selections.


Codecademy started as an online JavaScript tutor; it’s since expanded to other languages and technologies including Ruby, PHP and Python. Although it’s targeted toward the beginner end of the spectrum, I like working through their tutorials if I need to quickly get up to speed with the basics of a language–in this case, I took a couple of days last week to learn some Python-related nuts and bolts. While I’m nowhere close to calling myself a Pythonista now, I’m able to complete the tasks I need to take care of, and understand enough to look find answers to the things I haven’t learned yet. Take a look at Codecademy’s free services before paying for competing options.


Why am I working with Python? I’ve just begun taking an online course through Coursera, one of a handful of companies providing free access to higher education coursework. The course in question is “Introduction to Data Science” from the University of Washington, and it’s proving so far to be at least as every bit of a challenge as anything I had to do in graduate school. (Oh, the assigned work is to be completed in Python.)

Ruby Central

Back in Ruby land, I would like to publicly thank the fine people at Ruby Central for all the work they did to put together a great Railsconf this year. I’ll be writing more about it as session videos begin appearing on Confreaks, but all in all it was a top-notch event. Thank you to Even Phoenix, Ben Scofield, Marty Haught, and all the volunteers for making it happen. See you in Chicago next year.

. Questions or comments? Let me know what you think.