Hungry Academy: One Month In

One month ago, 24 of us walked into the glass double doors on our floor in LivingSocial HQ. We didn’t know each other, and while some people had done a fair amount of work in Ruby, Rails, and other programming languages, some of us were complete beginners. What a difference a month makes!

At times, Hungry Academy feels like a mini-conference. We have fantastic speakers coming in each week, giving us the ins and outs of what they are working on and how they do what they do (And we’ll try to keep up on posting about some of them so you all can enjoy too!). Sometimes the conversations are internal to LivingSocial and the tools they use, but more often they are peeks into the larger world of Ruby and Rails – the world that we already seem to be a part of.

We’ve worked on three major projects so far, all of them in Ruby. It’s amazing when we pause and look back at what we’ve done, especially for those of us who weren’t programmers at the start. Concepts that seemed impossible at the beginning of March now make sense. We built an event manager to do extract, translate, and load processes. We built an EventReporter that extended those concepts. And then we built a relational ‘database’ essentially from scratch – setting us up for the next project on our plate.

Coming at us hard and fast: Rails. Our first project is a doozy: building the creatively dubbed ‘StoreEngine’. It’s got a list of products. It’s got a shopping cart. It’s got administrators and users. It’s got transactions. Authentication. Authorization. As one of us put it, “It’s a big project – but when it’s done we’ll have a very good idea of what Rails does”. So if you have a friend in Hungry Academy, don’t be surprised when they dig in and turn down invitations to go play for a few weeks. And if you’re following along, get ready. This one is fun.

One month down. Four to go!