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Scrappy Acadamy

Scrappy Academy*

** Disclaimer: All subject to review, change, and overall better scrappiness **


  1. Self study group that follows hungry academy course
  2. Pick one open source project to contribute to
  3. Invite Ruby community members to weekly meetings as mentors


  • Prone to action
  • Write code, we don't care if it sucks, we'll get better
  • Building over talking
  • Disagreements are settled with code
  • Have fun along the way!
  • Collaborative


  • 3 months
  • Start in the first two weeks of March

Collaboration Types

  • Meet at least once a week
  • Remote pair sessions
  • Complete 2-4 full day hackathons in 3 months
    • Something specific i.e. Open source, Focused learning, etc.
    • Collaborative
  • Tools
    • Chatroom (Campfire/Hipchat)
    • Forum
    • Github

Unbaked Ideas:

  • Integrate into local meetups with evening learn/hacks
  • Sponsorships to cover space and/or offer stuff (dinner, beer, etc) as a thanks to mentors


  • My current strategy is to use this material heavily. I have worked through some of the material and it was helpful.
  • This is a heavy rails course that would overlap with the jumpstartlab materials.
  • For pure Ruby tutorials, I have used it and found it to be enjoyable. +1 for making it easy for folks picking of their first programming language.
  • For learning front end dev (CSS, Sass, js, etc.)


  • Living Social / Hungry Academy


Week One:

Opensource projects


Scrappy Acadamy naming credit goes to @tourdedave


  1. People want to build stuff... So just jump straight to rails.
  2. Pick a book or books that are required reading before getting started so everyone is at a minimum level.
  3. Have the first couple meetings going over any difficult topics or just stuff people think is cool.
  4. Get everyone a basis in Rails by pounding through:
  5. -and-
  7. Start building/collaborating on individual projects.

Depending on everyone's skill level this could be radically altered.

edkim commented Feb 29, 2012

Jason - This is looking really good so far. My preference is to use the books and tutorials listed as starting points, but to quickly move towards building team and individual projects. There's a big gap between following a tutorial and actually synthesizing your own code, and that's what I'd look to Scrappy Academy to help with. This is coming from someone who finished the tutorial on though. Do you think other participants would be open to getting to a certain minimum level before our first meeting, as Sean suggests?

arn-e commented Mar 2, 2012

I'm currently working through the material, and have no objection to wrapping it up prior to getting started here. All things being equal I would prefer to begin with our meetings before finishing Agile Web Development by prag prog, partly since I'm still working through the pickaxe book. I certainly want to make a meaningful contribution to the group, so this isn't a hardline stance.

Seems like everyone is working on or has worked on maybe we should set that as a prereq for the first meeting?


jwieringa commented Mar 5, 2012

The experience level varies. We have people moving past intermediate and others that are completely new to Ruby/Rails. I was looking through Agile Web Development, my suggestion is to have folks new to Ruby/Rails start working with the book. Some Ruby fundamentals are going to needed along the way. Any thoughts to those who have worked through the examples? I have only read the first chapter myself.

Given the different skill levels present, I see two issues we will want to address:

  1. Objectives, what are the specifics we are going to do?
  2. Time, what are we going to do with the time we meet up?

Here are some questions to get things going:

  • Are we going to have a weekly 'lesson' that we task ourselves with?
  • Should we focus on code review/pair programming?
  • Would we like to invite a Rubyist to come share share a design/practice?
  • Would we like to task someone with a small presentation (10-15mins) each week?

I'd like to have a minimal structure for us to give us a 'We did this' each week. What about an un-conferance style for objectives? Everyone shows up and write down what they would like to accomplish. We then organize study groups around these objectives and plan ways for us to mix the groups up a bit to get some cross collaboration going? We can review the next meeting to see how it went.

And yes, there are more questions than answers right now, but that is cool. Everyone is really motivated, let's keep the goals in mind and see where we end up.

arn-e commented Mar 6, 2012

There's a nice blog entry on the front page of HN today that essentially covers the step-by to basic web app development (framework / language + front end + version control + deployment).

It's written with Rails / Git / Heroku in mind, so actually quite relevant to what we will be doing :

Learning to Code: The Roadmap I Wish I Had Been Given

arn-e commented Mar 6, 2012

To clarify, this could serve as a starting point / baseline for those on the lower end of the experience spectrum.


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