So I just finished my third week of the Flatiron School and the experience has been nothing short of fantastic. Hard work, but all worth it. And one of the bonuses of being a student at the school is having guest developer notables come in and share their knowledge, insights, experiences, and excitement about what they do with us.
I thought I would write about what has been a common thread amongst several of their talks, praise for the NYC Ruby/Rails community. I couldn’t agree with them more. My experience with the community began over a year ago with the first Meetup I ever attended. It was a Thursday Hacker Hours hosted by Aidan Feldman (a recent speaker at Flatiron). Aidan was the first person I met/spoke to at a Meetup. The second person I spoke to, introduced to by Aidan, was Blake Johnson (a current teaching assistant at Flatiron). After that meetup there have been many others.
Don’t be mistaken, it’s not all about meetups, there are also hackathons, code retreats, happy hours, and conferences where the community congregates to share ideas, stories, knowledge, lessons learned, and sometimes just generally hang out and have a good time with like-minded people. (The occasional free food and beer doesn’t hurt either.) And you never know who you might meet or what you may learn at one of these events. But one thing you can be sure of is that if you need help with something or want to learn more about anything, all you need to do is ask. Don’t be shy. Members of the NYC Ruby/Rails community are always very willing to help and they are extremely welcoming and accepting of those who may just be getting started. It doesn’t matter if you are an aspiring developer or maybe want to turn your “next big thing” idea into a reality.
I have never left a meetup or other community event without having learned something new. Whether it’s about some new Ruby gems, or Rails projects, or development techniques/tools, or lessons learned, or many other things, there is always an opportunity to learn. Sometimes you learn a whole lot! The community can be an invaluable resource for someone who is trying to learn on their own as I was. And all that from experienced programmers who have seen and done it all. Many of whom where at the same point you are at earlier in their careers so they can identify. It’s ok to admit that you’re just a beginner. No one is going to make fun of you. And the more questions you ask the more you will learn. Take advantage.
Make yourself useful.