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It was perhaps unrealistic, but I’d hoped that when at long last I’d completed the final chapter of the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, the clouds would part, there would be a chorus singing, and I would fully comprehend Rails. Alas, it was not to be. I now have more questions than I had before I started with the tutorial, but at least I’ve seen the process through to completion. So what’s next?

Michael Hartl has recommendations for adding extensions to the micro-blogging application that was developed during the course of the tutorial. Among these suggested extensions are messaging, follower notifications, sign-up confirmation and search. I’m especially interested in adding the ability to send email notifications from the web application so I’m planning to start work on that next. I’m sure this will be a bit challenging, but I expect that I’ll learn a great deal more by trying to solve this problem myself rather than have the author step me through the process.

After that, I’m still trying to decide what will be my first priority. I’d like to embark on developing my own application, but I am still not 100% comfortable with what’s going on with the Rails framework. I’d also like to become more comfortable with the Ruby programming language. Oh, and then there’s RSpec and BDD, and using GIT as a version control system…

So, my reading list is now looking like this:

And finally, a book I came across just today after seeing the Ruby Weekly newsletter:

I feel as though the Ruby on Rails Tutorial provided an overview of the process, sort of like a bus tour of the city, with the tour guide pointing out sights along the way. Now it’s time to get off the bus and explore on foot…

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