From Mechanical Engineer to Software Developer
Finding this program was one of the best things that happened to me when I decided to switch to web development as a career.
I am a Mechanical Engineer by education, and in my career as one, I have always done some kind of programming (C, and Tcl/Tk scripting). I decided to switch to web development as a full-blown career in 2014. Before even thinking of enrolling for a course or a bootcamp of any sort, I tried my hand at a number of online resources to get myself ready for the professional world. Although, many of them were good to practise and learned basics & some nuances of Ruby (and Rails), none of them came close to helping me gain the confidence needed for an entry-level professional.
Seeing my struggle to get past the "learning-the-basics" mark, my wife, a 15+ years experienced professional software developer (Java and Ruby), found this course for me & "strongly recommended" it. So, I lied in the beginning, marrying her was the best thing that happened to me ;-)
I totally understood Object Oriented Programming. It was a real satisfaction to develop my first few OO apps in Ruby, the foundation for building apps in Rails. The second part of the program proved to be an absolutely awesome introduction to Rails and all the foundational principles like HTTP, MVC & RDBMS. This course took me well beyond the basic "demo" blogging Rails app. By the end of it, I was already gaining the confidence needed to enter the world of professional Rails development.
I had heard/read about (and dabbled a bit in) Test Driven Development before. But, when this concept was introduced and put to practice right at the beginning of the "Build Production Quality Applications" course, it really clicked with me. Also, we had been using Git in its basic form from the very beginning. Git flow (used throughout this program) is what we use at my current job. Oh yes, did I mention that I got a job as junior backend developer at one of the most reputed Rails shops here. And I haven't even completed the entire program yet. I can definitely see a lot of applications of practices introduced & discussed in the course.
Even though the time difference limits me from being as involved in the live sessions as I would like to, I never feel left out. I can always watch the recorded screencasts of those sessions later. Moreover, I get prompt and relevant feedback from the amazing TAs and instructors either as a way of code review comments or forum post replies to my questions.
Last, but not the least, the attention the course series pays towards the "extra-curricular" activities to make you job-ready is equally important as the technical content! A few examples that stand out for me are the suggestions to start blogging early & joining the local Ruby meetup group, and introduction to Agile methodologies.
I cannot stress enough how important these bits are to getting and surviving your entry-level Rails developer job.
I can go on about how awesome this program is :-). Instead, I'll just point you to my blog, where I have documented my key learnings as I progressed through it. Although I have not written a post in a while, it should give a fair idea of the course I took (pun intended)!