WDI week 3: jQuery, AJAX, databases and a tiny bit of Rails11 Oct 2013
On Wednesday, we had a brief introduction to databases. We learned about the different kinds, discovered what schemas, foreign keys and joins were, and then played with writing a few SQL queries. I think this was all with a view to moving onto Rails later in the week, because you need at least a basic understanding of what databases are all about to use Rails, even if we are only going to be using its default SQLite database to start with.
On Thursday and Friday, we finally started Rails, the Ruby framework we're going to be using to build the majority of our projects. This began with a discussion about convention over configuration (a familiar concept from Sinatra that's also part of the Rails philosophy), as well as MVC, the separation of concerns that underpins all Rails apps. This stands for model-view-controller, models being the underlying logical structure of your app, views being the code that defines what appears in your browser (the stuff your users see and interact with), and controllers being the bits that connect the front and back end together, determining things like routing and what should happen when a particular action takes place.
We also talked a bit about RESTful routing and HTTP verbs, and finished the week by making a practice Rails app about planets.