Back in December, Art.sy’s Daniel Doubrovkine announced he would be teaching a six-week class geared toward developers, assisted by Pivotal Labs’s Dimitri Roche, on the popular, powerful and lightweight scripting language and framework known as Ruby on Rails. The price, $2,800 a student, was on solid middle ground in the range of Ruby class pricing, but some local Rubyists sneered at the high price tag for a language that many learn on their own.
The class, held at General Assembly, filled up immediately anyway. Now that it’s over, Mr. Doubrovkine took some time to reflect. Between lesson planning and grading, he estimated he worked on the class for 117 hours in total. He decided to use the experience to make a case for learning Ruby in the classroom and last week hosted one of the most well-attended NYC.rb meetups to date, called “Crafting a Ruby on Rails Course for Developers,” in which he outlined his methods for creating the curriculum.
“Software education in the classroom is a thriving industry and the courses for Ruby-on-Rails vary greatly in structure and curriculum,” the event’s description read. “Strong opinions about the value of such classes have been heatedly expressed by NYC.rb members and we’re eager to continue a constructive conversation during the meetup. In this talk, we will share our experience building a Ruby-On-Rails for Developers course, and go over the lessons learned when delivering this material to a class of 15 students of General Assembly.”
The event concluded with student project demos and a discussion about how to improve the curriculum. “I’ve never seen so many people at NYC.rb!” Mr. Doubrovkine wrote in an email.
And good news: Mr. Doubrovkine has joined the ranks of the web’s most generous teachers by releasing the class curriculum on General Assembly’s Github account. The next morning, someone from the community had already made a small tweak. “Just some links fixed, but still a contribution from the open-source community!” he wrote.
Perhaps open-sourcing the class, which awards a certification upon completion, will satisfy some of the classroom skeptics in the self-deterministic Ruby community.