I heard about KL Ruby Brigade about one year ago while searching for avenues to learn coding to build some ecommerce apps. That came from my frustrations as an ecommerce store owner. With ecommerce extensions rising in price and licenses switching from lifetime to yearly and eventually monthly renewals, running an online store can be an expensive affair. And then our ringgit plunged.
Frustration and Finding Coding As A Direction
At the moment of frustration, I signed up for TeamTreehouse, LaraCasts and Codecademy. I thought I could whip something up in a few weeks, but sadly, the reality is far from that. It was incredibly hard to get a hang of coding. In my frustration, I googled and then found KL Ruby Brigade, some weird Facebook group with coders (gasp!).
Now, if you knew me back then, I hated coding with a passion. Ever since my stint with Matlab and Assembly language in University, I swore off all forms of coding for life.
So yes, I posted my virgin KL Ruby Brigade message on the 5th of October 2015, asking about building SaaS apps and whether Ruby or Laravel would be better. I was hoping for some Laravel focused answers, but found the answers skewed towards Ruby.
And then Karg Weng posted about some Rails bootcamp in Penang. And told me about Josh and NextAcademy. At that time, NextAcademy was based in Cyberjaya and we could get the MaGiC scholarship to learn Ruby on Rails for a measly RM 1,000. In comparison, General Assembly was going for about SGD 10k. Being some poor entrepreneur, I naturally signed up for MaGiC’s scholarship interview.
My First Encounter With Ruby Coders
A few days after signing up for the scholarship interview, we were told to prepare a certain amount of exercises on Codecademy. It was a gruelling period as I worked late to understand concepts while writing regularly for my online store. Two weeks into coding lessons, there was a Ruby Tuesdays meetup and interestingly, it was nearby my house! Plus they had free pizzas!
So I drove to this new spot with eager anticipation. I arrived late and the pizzas were already cold and running out. Oh, and some hot chick too (SushiVid’s Yuhwen). The entire night passed by in a blur as people like Calum gave their presentations. It was incredibly hard to understand for someone still stuck on Blocks, Procs and Lambdas and OOP in Codecademy.
But the highlight was talking to Jimmy after the presentations were over. I think we spoke for about 20 minutes as I asked him about various questions on coding, startups and life as a coder. It motivated me to continue on preparing for the scholarship interview with MaGiC.
During and after the bootcamp
KL Ruby Brigade remain a relevant spot for me during and after the bootcamp. The bootcamp itself was incredibly fun but taxing. Being someone who wants to understand his code before putting it on, I spent weekends trying to understand concepts on both CodeSchool and TreeHouse, as well as finishing exercises I missed out during the week.
Going for the monthly Ruby Tuesdays meet up during the bootcamp reminded me that
- There’s life beyond the bootcamp
- It’s not impossible to be good in Ruby, Sinatra and Rails
Post-bootcamp, KL Ruby Brigade has instead become a place to catch up with old friends, listen to the latest development in Ruby on Rails and a place to meet fresh coders.
Should You Attend KL Ruby Brigade Events?
If you’re new to coding or just have some startup ideas, KL Ruby Brigade’s Facebook group and their monthly meet up event (Ruby Tuesdays), remains as one of the best place to be in. Their members are incredibly friendly and the feedback you get is amazing.
If you’re looking for a job change, learning Ruby can be incredibly rewarding. And many startup companies tend to post up their open jobs during Ruby Tuesdays and our annual Ruby Conference KL.