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Starting My Own App

Flatiron School / 23 July 2013

The following is a guest post by Steven Brooks and originally appeared on his blog. Steven is currently a student at The Flatiron School. You can follow him on Twitter here.

For me, today is the day I have become a programmer. Actually, it was pretty exciting and I even got a little emotional about it. Yesterday (Sunday), I began creating my own application, and very much enjoyed making it on my own, solving some bugs on my own (or at least the ones I was able to understand). It was very exciting for someone who has only been programming for 7 weeks. I have come very far and would like to challenge myself in creating my own app.

My friends are very into fitness as well as I am. We compete in Crossfit events and I wanted to create an app where myself and my friends can input the data from each of their workouts, on top of just having a log, and being able to see their and their friends’ progress visually with visual representations to track progress.

I would like to have a post each day, or at least try to have a post each day, or now that I am thinking about it I should make a post with each new thing I learn while building. Actually I think I’ll do the latter.

I first built three models, a routine model, and exercise model, and a lift model which is a joins between routine and exercise. The first issue I came into was the form in which I am attempting to allow the user to create a workout along with exercises for that specific routine. One of the first issues I found was that each time a user makes a routine, the corresponding exercises are being saved into the database as new exercises. So if I have a “squat” in one workout and create a “squat” in another, there becomes two instances of “squat” in the database. I decided to push that back because my form is already a mess.

In watching Nested Models on Railscasts, the author talks about nesting models within the form. In my routine form, I wrote “accepted_nested_attributes_for :exercises”. Now while this will allow each exercises to be nested within a routine, and with the knowledge I have in 7 weeks, I cannot get access to each exercise in the instance of the routine.

I realized my form is messed up. I need to do something like “f.label ‘routine[][exercise[name]]” or something in the form and then in the controller loop through that array of exercises and « or shovel them into that instance of a routine such as “@routine.exercises « whatever_the_params_are”.

For me thats a big breakthrough to be able to get this on my own. It’s exciting. Being able to get the data in a way you want it to is beyond important in Rails and I feel I am on my way!

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