railway

Code with me!

This is the original post. There is a newer one that explains how I plan to continue with the project. Some summaries of the first couple of sessions are also included.

2011 has been a good year for me so far – financially as well as in terms of cool work in general. I feel like it’s time to share some of that luck with others and spend a couple of hours per week working pro bono, helping people.

Back in 2006 when I was starting out with Ruby and Rails (and, for that matter, back in 2001 when I started learning PHP), I wished I had someone who would just take the time to sit down and code a little with me: show me some tricks, help when I’d get stuck etc. Yes, there are forums (like ruby-forum.com and the WorkingWithRails forums), but like others I’ve never quite warmed up to forums – at least not in a support and learning context. Nothing’s better than someone with more or equal experience sitting down with you and working with you – in programming terms, that’s pair programming. I’ve never learned more (or at least felt that I’ve learned more) than during the couple of months pairing with Sven Fuchs who – apart from being an awesome person in general – was the greatest guy I could have wished to pair with. Recently, I’ve also discovered that I tend to learn a lot when explaining stuff to others.

So that’s what I want to do: Pair with you for some time, review/refactor code, write some tests, answer any questions … In short: Whatever you want or need. For free.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • I want to spend 1.5-2 hours twice a week (depending on my workload) on this.
  • It will (mostly) take place in the evening – that is, after 5pm Central European Time (UTC+2).
  • I’ll announce dates and times a couple of days before.
  • We can use Skype or iChat for talking.
  • If you want me to code with you rather than just talk, I’ll use TeamViewer to connect to your computer. Please make sure that TeamViewer is installed and functioning (Firewall etc.) and that your connection is strong enough to support voice + screensharing with acceptable quality. You also need a working Ruby environment.
  • If you want to work on code for your company, please doublecheck with your superior if this is okay. I ensure you that you can trust me to not steal ideas and/or code from your company but I won’t sign NDAs for this.
  • It would be great to get some written feedback – both positive and critical – from you afterwards per email or published on your blog (if you have one). You don’t have to but I’d certainly appreciate it.
  • If you’re interested, send me an email at “clemens at thisdomain”. Please include some relevant details about you (Ruby/Rails/general programming experience), how you would like to spend the time (topic(s) to talk about, project information etc.) and which date(s) and time(s) would be good for you.

The first date, if someone wants to do that despite short notice, is Monday, 25 April between 5pm and 9pm UTC+2. I’ll announce the second date in the next couple of days, but it’ll probably be on Sunday, 1 May between 4pm and 8pm – so make a kind of “advance reservation” if you want. ;-)

Get in touch and/or spread the word if you like this!