Lesson Weekend

Before the start of the course, take time to ensure all necessary tools are correctly installed on your personal machine. For Ruby, this is primarily installing Ruby itself and a tool called Postgres, which we will use when we begin integrating databases into our Ruby projects in 3rd course section, Ruby Database Basics. All of the lessons with installation instructions are in the Ruby and Rails course pre-work titled "Getting Started with Ruby". It's important to try setting up these tools up now (even though we don't use Postgres for a few weeks) so that you may take advantage of installation and setup assistance if any errors or issues occur. Read on for expectations for installation and setup assistance.

Review: Installation Issues and Setup Assistance

Sometimes issues can arise in the installation process. Because setup issues naturally arise, students and teachers collaborate on solving setup issues together during an in-class troubleshooting session at the start of the course. Let's review the guidelines and expectations for that now.

Schedule and Expectations

1. Before the Ruby and Rails course starts, every students installs all tools at home.

The first step is for you to take the time to install the necessary tools for Ruby and Rails at home. You begin this process individually before the start of Intermediate JavaScript team week, and students often finish this process without help. If you run into any installation issues, that's ok. See #2 below.

2. If any installation issue happens, troubleshoot them and take notes.

It's important to take notes and screen shots for any issues or error messages that comes up. You can then share these notes with your peers and teacher during the in-class troubleshooting session. It's also important to take the time to work through the issue yourself. Whatever you try in the troubleshooting process, take notes. The same goes for any helpful resources you find online. We recommend reading through terminal output and any error logs that come up in the installation process, as they can point what to look into that may be missing.

3. Follow your instructor's directions.

Your instructor may have further instructions for you as far as how or where they want you to take notes on any issues. Your instructor may also ask that you "check in" about how your installation process went on a spreadsheet or whiteboard so they can track issues and organize help. Whatever it is, make sure to follow your instructor's directions.

4. Finish troubleshooting during the first class of the course.

For anyone who hasn't been able to resolve an installation issue, you will group up during the first class of the Ruby and Rails course and continue troubleshooting together. Your instructor will have more directions for you about grouping up, and they will be present and available during this time to also help troubleshoot installation issues. This troubleshooting session is focused on collaboration, so discuss your issues and share your notes with your peers. Situations happen where your classmate has solved a problem you are currently facing and has advice for you, and vice versa!

As you work through your installations, keep in mind that it's common for environment issues to crop up and for them to take a while to resolve. This is why we begin the installation process over the weekend and continue into the first class of the Ruby and Rails course. Make sure to do your part by troubleshooting any issues that do come up over the weekend, and by taking notes on what the issues are and what you did to fix them.

Using Docker instead of natively installing Ruby and Postgres.

Your instructor may direct you to use Docker to complete the Ruby and Rails course. Docker is a tool that enables developers to package applications into containers. A container is simply a development environment that is separate from your computer's environment. This means that you won't need to do any installation of Ruby or Postgres software on your personal machine — instead you can use these tools within containers.

We have complete lessons on how to use Docker as well as containers that are ready to use for each section in the Ruby and Rails course. So, all you will need to do is work through the Docker lessons we provide to learn how to run and manage Docker containers for your Ruby, Sinatra, Postgres, and Rails apps.