What's next?

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If making web or mobile products is what you're most passionate about, you'll be pleased to know that people will actually pay you for it. We've compiled a list of things you can do to get started.

The conference is totally free for students. Register for free now.

Build a project you're passionate about

Reading books and documentation is necessary, but not sufficient. Build a real thing as you're learning.

Set up your development and production environments

If you have a Mac OS X or Linux laptop, follow the instructions for this script and these dotfiles to get set up.

Store your code at GitHub (open source is free) and deploy your production apps to Heroku (simple apps are free). Get accounts!

While you're developing, refer to documentation like Rails API docs and jQuery API docs often. Bookmark them.

Make a habit of learning a little every day

For example, if you're interested in pursuing Ruby and Ruby on Rails, you should try the following:

  • Read Programming Ruby 1.9 & 2.0 ($28 eBook), affectionately known as "The Pickaxe", on your own, a chapter a night. This is necessary in order to learn Ruby, the programming language.

  • Read the Ruby on Rails guides (free), on your own, a chapter a night. This is necessary to learn Rails, the web application framework.

  • Watch Railscasts (free), on your own, an episode a night. Just pick one that looks interesting to you. This is necessary to learn the ecosystem of third-party Ruby gems.

Re-use existing components before writing your own

Someone has probably already written a library to help you achieve some task. Review The Ruby Toolbox (free), then ask the opinion of the Boston Ruby Group mailing list (free).

Don't waste time when you're stuck

If you get an error, copy it and paste in into Google. You'll probably get an explanation.

If not, submit a question to StackOverflow (free) or the Boston Ruby Group mailing list (free).

Talk to an expert in person when you need help with concepts and process

If you need help understanding broader concepts or need someone to review your passion project's codebase in person, attend a Boston Ruby Project Night at the thoughtbot office on the first Tuesday night of every month.

If you understand pieces of the technology stack but can't figure out how they fit together, take an online workshop through Learn Prime.

To really immerse yourself in the material, take an intensive bootcamp with Metis.