Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 34

Today we were at their office in Chicago meeting all of the guys of the new Client, getting the source code up to speed on our computers, and learning what we will be doing for them. I must say, a pretty amazing company. Their relaxed, but hard working on target mindset is extremely refreshing and conducive to an effective working environment. Their website has been wildly successful and is saving tons of people tons of money, while bringing companies tons of customers and tons of money. Where's the fault? It actually comes in when certain companies start saying "You need to set a limit! Too many customers!" Ayyy, there's the rub.

Getting started on a new existing Rail's project is always a pain. Even more so than Java or plain Ruby projects. On every Rail's project there is a new set of 10-20 gems and plugins that have to be settled. Each gem with their own specific version, frequently not the most up to date version either. On top of this, there is a wide selection of databases that can be used, and always require some love and finagling to make them happy.

I spent around 4-5 hours today getting my situation up to date and on track with their environment. Micah was able to get going in about 2 1/2 or so hours, so he got a good look at the code and a fair feel for what we will have to do to complete the feature. On a happier note though, the guys here said we got up and ready faster than anyone else before us, who often took up to a week!

Most of my time was spent getting MySQL working. I jump from error to error, then fixed stuff, but went back to the same error as before. It mostly all stemmed back to not being on Snow Leopard, but the default download for mysql was using the x86_64 archive. Later on I figured this out, went back and got the right version - i386 archive, but still had issues with missing refs.

One really useful tool I learned about is the RVM. Ruby Version Manager. It can switch back and forth between different Ruby environments, with different versions of Ruby (like the core Ruby or Ruby Enterprise Edition (which is mega faster)), different gems and gem versions. With just a simple command like: rvm ree I could switch to Ruby Enterprise Edition with all the gems I needed for this client, and then with: rvm system I could swap back to my normal Ruby environment. Uber powerful.

Tomorrow we will start planning out our iterations and our story cards.

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