This week we finished up the Job Listing projected and started on the new e-commerce project. I completed both projects without much difficulties (the key challenges have been outlined here and here). And today I began working on implementing Bootstrap templates to make the site better looking.
The best parts of this week was probably being able to fork, build, pull, and complete a number of other tasks such as installing gems and running migrations on my own. I am getting a better hang of how Rails works, but definitely need to do a wider variety of projects to be exposed to more functionalities. The projects so far, a forum, a job listing site, and an e-commerce site, are all pretty similar, at least so far as we haven't been building the shopping cart and generating payment/inventory management functions yet.
At times I felt a bit bored, but I overcame that feeling by working on CSS to improve visuals of the site and learning the basics of coding from CodeAcademy.
One key realization this week was the distinction between bundling a gem file vs. downloading it form the developer website. If the gem is included in the
Gemfile inside the repository, then every time it's installed or updated, it will automatically fetch the latest version online (or whatever version you specify). This process is automated so that the developer would never have to worry about updating gems by checking developer websites individually.
Another important realization is that creating visuals on websites is very detailed work. In the projects so far, because we haven't been bothering with too much visual, this hasn't come up as an important factor. But in practice, we of course want our projects to look nice, and working with CSS/JS can become a big part of development.
With the above in mind, I will be spending more time learning how CSS/JS work in Rails. I really look forward to creating more functionality on the e-commerce website next week (shopping cart, checkout, inventory mangement, etc.).