Learn Web Development Kickstarter - Q & A

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We launched a Kickstarter project last week, so here's some Q&A on its goals.

Q: What is this project about?
A: We're creating an new course on web development with Ruby on Rails.

Q: Aren't there already many courses and books about Ruby on Rails?
A: Yes, but they're too dry. Web development is a hard topic for beginners to learn and it's hard to go through a long book, so this course will be interactive and make things easier for beginners.

Q: Sounds good. I’m interested in creating web apps but can’t read through a 600-page book on the topic. How will this course help specifically?
A: We will provide programming challenges so you can learn by doing. Initially there will be online challenges so you can get started right away, and later we’ll provide downloadable coding challenges (as "test cases”) so you can continue coding in a professional environment. It’s easy to get lost when coding on your own, but it's like following a straight path when you are constantly working on coding challenges. You know right away if you’re right or wrong and pass one challenge at a time. Our course will be more like a game than a textbook!

Q: OK, but I still don’t want to read through thousands of paragraphs of plan text, how are you helping with that?
A: To make the learning more interesting, we will also create cartoons and diagrams to explain basic concepts. We won’t just thrown in random cartoon characters at different points, but we’ll actually demonstrate basic programming concepts visually. For example, in the cartoon on our Kickstarter page, you can see Ruby on Rails represented as a physical machine. This helps people understand fundamental concepts of web development by seeing it visually represented.

Q: Will there be videos too?
A: There will be a small number of videos when it can be particularly helpful. In general the main content will be text + challenges + visual cartoons or diagrams.

How to Back the Kickstarter

Q: Why not make the whole course with videos?
A: Videos are hard to skim, search or reference, but this course is focused on modularity and reference-ability. You can jump into any part you want and start learning it or skip a topic and come back to it later. Remember learning something somewhere, but don’t remember the exact details? It will be easy to refer right back to the text or code you’re interested in without watching through a video. Our course will also focus on just one topic at a time so you can easily find the information you’re looking for in the appropriate section.

Q: What are theses topics you will cover, one at a time?
A: First we'll cover how websites work, HTML & CSS, and programming with Ruby Next we'll give an overview of Rails, and then go into each part of the Rails structure one-by-one, starting from the data and moving to the views. Finally, we'll show how you can build a complete application!

Q: How much detail will you provide?
A: We’re not going to cover all the details, just what you need to build out a project from each section. The goal of this course is to get you started with web development, not to bury you with it. You can use this as a starting point to further learning or to become familiar with web development so you can collaborate better with professional developers. You can choose what you want to learn and why. We will also provide recommended resources so you can continue learning afterwards.

Get started learning web development and Back us on Kickstarter!

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