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Ruby on Rails at June's AgileNorth meetup

Tonight was June's AgileNorth meetup and the topic was Ruby on Rails. It was hosted by David Draper who did an excellent job of introducing Rails in an easy to digest way even though he has very little Rails experience himself. Just shows what a good trainer can do!

He demo'ed a shortened version of Curt Hibbs's Recipe Cookbook tutorial using the RadRails plugin for Eclipse as his IDE. David started by creating the database in mysql (note: just the database - no tables) and then used RadRails to create the initial 'cookbook' application environment. He used the 'migration' feature of rails to create the database tables which were auto-generated by ruby code - this was one feature of rails that I was not aware of and was particularly impressive (for me at least!).

A great Ruby on Rails bookHe used the scaffolding tools of rails to auto-generate the recipe & category models, the cookbook and category controllers and all the associated views. All of this was done in little steps so that he could show the changes that were made to the code at each stage. I lot of this I had seen before as I ran through the 'Four Days on Rails' last Christmas but it was a nice refresher on the power of Rails.

Following David's walk-through we had a thirty minute discussion around the benefits of Rails and how to introduce Rails to systems with an existing database structure - could it be used to map onto this schema rather than creating a Rails-friendly one from scratch?

I really enjoyed this evening's talk, David did an excellent job if giving a brief overview of how to get kick-started with Rails, and it has re-energised me to think about how I can introduce it in some aspect at work.

Note: I've tagged quite a few of the items discussed with the 'agilenorth' tag over on

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Anonymous said…
In the discussion did the topic of grails and groovy come up?
Andrew Beacock said…
No, although that might have been good to discuss. It was all ruby and rails, I think mainly as most of us had not seen what rails could do and so hadn't investigated alternatives.
Anonymous said…
Andrew, Note that the AgileNorth website has moved, to ...